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Thet who knowing little are yet aware that there is mnch 
to know naturally feel impressed with hmnility; their first 
effort in endeavouring to promote education will be to educate 
themselves; they will be the last to slight the religious opinions 
of other men and other times when differing from their own. 

The study of mythology seems to be nearly abandoned among 
us except as a trifling matter of school routine. We value our- 
selves on knowledge of facts^ and parade our indifference for 
fables. Yet this is affecting a superiority to which we have 
little right. Certainly if it were in our power to reach pure 
truth, fable might cease to interest us, except as an angel may 
be supposed to take a pitying interest in human frivolities. 
But fiction is not peculiar to antiquity; it is as inseparable 
from human thought as shadow from substance. Nature 
knows no breaks or harsh distinctions. The classes, eeras, &c., 
into which we separate her varieties are little more than conve- 
nient resting-places for the mind in the round of imperceptible 
gradation, not ultimate facts. No contrasts appear greater 
than those of past and present, fact and fiction, faith and know- 
ledge, mythology and philosophy. Yet those best acquainted 
with the human mind are most ready to admit the mixed and 
limited nature of all its acquisitions and powers ; that intellec- 
tual light and darkness pa^s into each other ; and that while 
we smile at past follies, the mythical element still holds its 
ground not only in the opinions but even in the philosophy of 
the present. 


In this consists the lasting interest of what is, by way of 
eminence, called mythology. It is but the exaggerated reflec- 
tion of our own intellectual habits. An extreme instance is 
understood more easily than that which is familiar on a dimi- 
nished scale. In times when the mythical element predomi- 
nated, extending over many subjects from whence its influence 
has now been partially removed, we are able to see more clearly 
its sources and effects. The understanding, like the eye, re- 
quires instruments to work with, and even now the severest ex- 
perimentalist is greatly indebted to imagination for the means 
of gaining and expressing his conclusions. Something of the 
fanciful and arbitrary is inseparable from all forms of thought, 
and mythology is a useful warning against the error which was 
its essence, that of assigning reality to impressions, of con- 
founding the inner sense with the external envelopment. 

In treating of mythi, the writer has endeavoured to avoid 
formal interpretation. He is aware that they are many-sided, 
more than one meaning converging in the same story ; so that 
there is great advantage in what Creuzer calls the " concrete " 
treatment, in which the story is left to interpret itself. Doubt- 
less general inferences are to be gained from mythology, as 
there are also rules for interpreting it, some of which, it is 
lioped, will hereinafter become apparent ; it is otherwise with 
special meanings, whose comparative value depends on the 
correctness of the analogies suggesting them. All attempts to 
explain ancient opinion must, in the absence of authority, be 
themselves considered as opinions of questionable correctness ; 
and the writer s aim being to deprecate dogmatism, he trusts 
that the appearance of posidveness in any assertions he may 
have made on such points will be ascribed to its true motive, 
the desire of brevity, without which almost every sentence 
would have been loaded with qualifications and apologies. 

But whatever the chances of misinterpretation, far greater is 
the mistake of supposing that the grapes are sour and the land 
barren, that the obscure is also the unmeaning. Although 
ve no more expect to find history in mythi than bank notes 


among Afirican cowrie shells, yet perhaps in its own way the 
shell maybe the more.beautifal and essentially attractive article 
of the two. The free fancy that wove the web of Mythns was 
consecrated by faith; it had not, like the modem mind, set 
apart a petty sanctaary of borrowed beliefe beyond which all the 
rest was common and unclean. Imagination, reason and reU- 
gion circled ronnd the same symbol. There was serious mean- 
ing in the golden napkin of Bhampsinitiis, nay eren in the 
gash of water firom the jaw-bone of Sampson's ass. Cramped 
as we are with conventionalities, we sometimes suppose the 
ancients devised fictions in the same vapid spirit in which we 
read them. But pure fiction is an article perhaps quite as 
scarce as pure truth ; and the mind wad never less capable of 
wanton fiction than when fiirthest firom what is called science. 
In endeavouring to interpret creations of fiemcy, femcy as weU 
as reason must guide. How much of modem contaroversy 
arises out of heavy misapprehensions of ancient symbolism ! 
Poetry cannot be constroed by the rule of three. To enjoy it 
we must in a degree become poets, and the problem often 
mooted as to whether Homer understood his own mythi is a 
difficulty which could never occur if we could feel as he did, or 
at all place ourselves at the antique point of view. In philo- 
sophy we depend on reason ; in poetry (though no poetry is 
without its philosophic element) we rather feel our way by en- 
tering as fSeur as we can into the sentiment of the poet, and the 
best interpreter is he who best appreciates the circumstances 
and impressions which suggested the composition. 

In what he has said about the Greeks (who, notwithstanding 
obscurities in their early history, are perhaps the most insdruc- 
tive example we have of continuous religious development) the 
writer has used the legend of Prometheus as a convenient centre 
of view. He has here (neglecting as false the notion which 
would reduce everything authentic in Greek antiquity to the 
one standard of Homer) endeavoured to explain the original 
character or conception of the Nature God, and the modifica* 
tions it successively sustained through the treatment of Art 


and that of philosophic contemplation. He has throughout 
attempted to distinguish in Greek religion a twofold aspect; 
the mystio, which may be assumed to be its more natural and 
original form, and the popular artificial reading which became 
current in epic poetry. Though the religion is essentially one^ 
some such distinction seems to be required, though the terms 
'' Titan " and " Ourete " may not perhaps be exactly suited to 
introduce or express it'. 

In quoting from Oriental sources the writer is under the dis- 
advantage of ignorance of the languages; but he has taken 
pains to get the best accessible aids. In regard to Scripture 
references especially he has not blindly followed the English 
version, and indeed repeated instances will be found where the 
latter would have supplied either no meaning or a clearly false 
one. For those who do not value truth in the abstract only, 
German criticism offers abundant help for cultivating a better 
acquaintance with the Bible. 

The most serious consequence of misunderstanding the forms 
of ancient thought and expression is the estrangement between 
religious theory and common practice -characteristic of our day. 
St. Paul arrived at his idea of a justifying faith by reversing 
the natural course of thought; he argued from conceptions to 
facts instead of from facts to conceptions. The dogmatical 
theology derived from him has busied itself more with his con- 
ceptional machinery than his essential meaning. Hence the 
wide gulf between action and belief, which diverge not only in 
their moral application but in theoretic principle. Action as- 
sumes the natural relation of cause and effect, while religious 
profession is wholly mystical ; the latter is based on a notion 
of magic, the other on that of science. The practical issue 
of the contradiction is compromise ; to make up for lack of 
performance by unjustifiable appeals to Jupiter ; adopting a 
principle for Sundays distinct from that suggested by every-day 

^ The writer has quoted from the last (3rd) edition of Creuzer's SjmboHk, alto- 
gether perhnps the most serviceable book existing (of a philosophical character) on 
geneial mythology. 


experience, neither heartily accepting the new philosophy nor 
remaining consistently fiuthfdl to the old. To bring morals and 
religion together by reconciling faith and practice^ all that 
would seem to he required is to ascertain what the nature of the 
divine govemment really is ; and if it be impossible there to 
discoyer any inconsistency, at once to discard the anomaly 
gratuitously introduced into human thought and practice. The 
Egyptians are not inconmioded by their inundation, and win- 
ter, as remarked by a modem authoress ', is trying not so much 
because severe, for severity, she adds, whether in temperature 
or authority, hurts no one so it be but steady; but when, like 
a real tyrant, it is capricious. Why in the divine govemment 
need we intermingle an imaginary system of caprice with the 
real one of order, or thwart the obvious plan of Ood's educa* 
tion by praying in one direction while acting in another, wast- 
ing valuable time over ''stupendous facts" and mysteries which 
to plain minds are the reyerse of edifying, and which answer no 
one purpose in promoting the object of our lives ? 

" It is vain," said the Times, on a late occasion (Thanks- 
giving Day, Nov. 15, 1849), "to talk of general laws, for it is 
a mere gratuitous assumption to suppose a system of laws om- 
nipotent over the whole creation visible and invisible, known 
and unknown, intelligible or mysterious." Tet why, it may be 
asked, should we think the unknown to be governed after a 
different £E»hion from the known ; or why is it more gra- 
tuitous to infer the laws whose action we trace in all within 
our comprehension to extend to unexplored cases, than to ima- 
gine the Almighty exercising a double control, becoming a 
capricious inexplicable agent exactly at the point where our 
present information ends ? 

For what are laws of Nature? They can only mean the 
order constituting an unvarying series of causes and effects 
which the Author of Nature has chosen to be the form ofr his 
govemment. Up to a certain point we know this order'to be 

3 Liyonian Tales. 


undeyiating ; we are justified in presaming, that though un- 
perceived by us the same order extends to unknown cases ; 
and this not merely because it is the only possible presumption 
which is not gratuitous^ but because we should otherwise be 
forced into the altematire of supposing what Ohiist himself 
denounced as absurd', that the larger part of the Creator's 
arrangements is at yariance with the rest. 

Wherever in outward nature a stoppage occurs, all goes 
wrong. If a sewer is blocked up the air is polluted ; if an an- 
tiseptic is swallowed the stomach is destroyed. So it is in 
intellectual matters. Truth exists for man only so long as it 
is allowed to grow; confinement is death to it. Those who 
feel that they have not yet succeeded in making a final con- 
quest of ^* divine truth" cannot be expected to sympathize 
with those who have. The latter save themselves much trouble 
and anxiety by simply holding fast their creed and calling in 
dogged adhesion to the formula, '* Tea verily ! and by God's 
help so I will." The discontented class alone undertake educa- 
tion ; since education, at least all deserving the name, implies 
consciousness of present deficiency, or the necessity of be- 
coming wiser and better. Hitherto its attainment, or rather 
the attainment of its most elementary conditions, has been 
stayed by paltry squabbles about the externals of religion. It 
was said of old, the corruptions of the best things are the 
worst ; the fairest institutions degenerate into the foulest abuses. 
It seems but too clear that the only way to better things lies 
through the labyrinth of theological controversy. In order to 
convince ourselves of what religion is, we must first become 
fully aware of what it is not. To the public such discussions 
are naturally distasteM, and that not only on account of the 
abstruse nature of the questions raised, and probably also firom 
an instinctive appreciation of their comparative worthlessness, 
but in the presumption that the official depositaries of the 
sacred oracles, knowing already all that can be known about 

* Mutt. zii. 25. 


tbem, ar6 folly equal and faithfdl to their trast. But the prin- 
ciple of deputation may be carried too far. It is not every 
physician, even supposing him to be fiilly master of his profes- 
sion, who will venture to p^;escribe an unpalatable remedy. If 
we neglect our own spiritual interests, we cannot be surprised 
if they miscarry. That they have so is clear, since the trustees 
are at issue among themselves, and many of them openly aban- 
don their charge and church. It is hard to be called to do 
personally what we imagined had already been effectually done 
by deputy, but there is no alternative. It is like being enrolled 
for the militia, troublesome but necessary. Yet after aU, the task, 
if resolutely taken up, will be found easier than we thought A 
sample may give a tolerably correct idea of the general charac- 
ter of the commodity. If we could submit to unlearn, repara- 
tion would be comparatively easy. Salvation, in the sense of 
escape irom various degrees of mistake and its inevitable con- 
sequences, misconduct and discomfort, is the educational pro- 
cess, undoubtedly a laborious and arduous one ; but theological 
salvation, meaning escape from an imaginary curse, is a matter 
of pure '' faith" or act of the mind, consisting chiefly in dis- 
missing the false beliefs in which we were before entangled. 
Can it be hard to think that God never cursed his creatures, 
but on the contrary is always blessing them ? That his good- 
ness may therefore be counted on prospectively, it being " his 
good pleasure to give us the kingdom"? That the fear and 
darkness bewildering us are fogs of our own breath, the false 
worship disappearing of itself on discovery of a better? That 
religion is no fruit of exclusiveness, but a divine seed in the 
mind requiring Ught and air for its health and growth, and 
becoming degraded only when it falls prostrate before a whim 
or idol, that stunted artificial state which has neither the 
earnestness and playful beauty of its mythical beginnings, nor 
the usefulness of its maturity ? In this, as in many other 
cases, the real difficulty is not in the subject, but in fallacies of 
perverted ingenuity. Men deify brutes, their fellow-beings, 
their own ideas. In the break-up of old faiths some fall back 


upon a woTBhip of form, while others take refdge in wild senti- 
mentaHty. There are people whose religion consists in self- 
torture ; who exclude themselves fix)m the world, or think to 
please God by giving up to what t]^y suppose to be his service 
something whose loss is felt to be injurious to their health or 
business ; by consecrating a day out of the week to peculiar 
ceremonies, by fasting or other penance. Such extravagances 
result from misconceiving the character of the Deity and the 
relation in which we stand to him ; from forgetting that reli- 
gion tasks the whole man; not exacting a service of mere sen- 
timent or imagination which reason disowns, but directing all 
the faculties to act in unison for the agent's good. The an- 
cients were as the eagle intently gazing on what he wants 
strength to reach ; we are the owls bliuking at the first day- 
light, which, however, we are slowly learning to support. Our 
spiritual light is still sadly dimmed by Gothic windows and still 
more Grothic traditions ; but clouds do not extinguish the light 
of heaven, religion will outlive theology, its lamp will be kindled 
afresh and bum brighter than before. 

LovDOH, June 8, 1850. 




I 1. Elements of the mythical 8 

2. Difference between andent and modern miracle 6 

8. Dilemma of ■enmonmees and Kntimentaliim 9 

4. Religion of the Hebrews 12 

& 'Temporary character of religions forms . 17 

6. Questionable Talne of miraenlons proof 19 

7. Intellectual edocation and its instnunents ...... 24 

B, FUth 85 

9. Dntj 42 

10. CnltiTation of the religions sentiment . 47 


§ 1. Character of ancient wisdom 67 

2. Itofofms * 01 

8. Classification of cosmogonic systems 06 

4. The first Mosaic cosmogony 78 

5. Opinions respe c ting chaos 75 

6. The darkness 80 

7. The water 81 

8. The Spirit of God 85 

9. Symbol of the dove 88 

10. Light 98 

jll. The firmament 95 

12. ^e week and the sabbath 97 

IS. Arrangement of the days of creation 101 

14. Qeneral cluaacter of Hebrew physics 108 




i 1. Qenendformioftheoonoeplion 109 

2. Elementary proceM of religiooi deyelopment 113 

8. Chancterittics of the fint religiom feeling . . . . .116 

4. The Hebrew Blohim 119 

5. Tncet of Hebrew astrolatry 122 

6. Relation of monotheum to symbolitm 181 

7. Uoe and abnae of symbolinn 136 

8. Oral symboliam 144 

9. Relation of pantheiim to personification 146 

10. Development of penonification — ^Qreek iculptiire .153 

11. G^ek poetry 161 

12. Phygical character of the Greek gods 180 

18. The Giante and Titans 187 

14. War of the Titans 195 

15. lapetus and Prometheus 198 

16. Each Homeric deity originally a local god 215 

17. Notion of Athene 220 

18« Notion of Zeus — the Supreme Being as a local god .... 235 

19. The Supreme Being as a hero 240 

20. The earliest population of Greece 246 

21. Religion of Thrace .......... 258 

22. Hermes and his correlatives 260 

23. The Cnretes 278 

24. Cronus 299 

25. Birth and relations of Minos-Zeus 310 

26. Greek philosophy 832 

27. Separation of the mental from the material 837 

28. Deification of mind .343 

29. Decline of polytheism and of philosophy . > ' . 851 

30. Theosophy of Aristotle 355 


1. Moral idea of God .388 

2. The Golden Age and the Fall ........ 889 

8. Theory of paradise ... - 895 

4. Mythical geography of paradise 899 

5. On the use of apologue 404 

6. The Garden 410 

7. The River or Rivers 412 



i 8. The Trees 416 

9. The Woman 419 

10. The Serpent 420 

11. Moral meaning of the Hebrew « FaU " 484 

12. Storyof Promethens 440 

18. The Prometheos of Machyhu 447 

14. The philoeophy of moderation 452 

15. Plato*! Prometheni 457 

16. Deyelopment of the moral idea of Zeui 468 

17. DefecU in the Greek ethical tystems 470 


©cofien @(fct|(n 

UnlcccS tDofepn'S 
Jtvtffc ooflm^nu 


VOL. I. B 




It is impossible that man in the infancy of his faculties should 
be intellectually or spiritually religious. Impressed with a 
yague idea of superior external power, he is ignorant of its 
extent and character. His first attempts to scan the invisible 
are like the efforts of the undisciplined eye to apprehend the 
remote. The child tries to touch the distant horizon, and the 
uncultiyated mind hopes to obtain impressions of the Deity 
equally palpable to the senses. God is seen in the clouds or 
heard in the wind ; everything uncomprehended is at once re- 
ferred to supernatural agency, just as a pool of unknown depth 
is supposed by popular credulity to be unfathomable. 

The mind's success in mastering the problems presented to it 
must obviously be in proportion to the cultivation of its facul- 
ties. This is peculiarly true of religion ; for if there be any 
thing in which differences 6f mental training are emphatically 
marked, it is in the investigation of that problem which sur- 
rounds and comprehends every other, and which tasks the whole 
of the £Etculties for its adequate solution. But in the life of 
ages, as in the life of the individual, some of the faculties are 
more quickly matured than others; the reason is of slow 
growth, and its healthy development, indispensable to the fitting 
education of a religious and moral being, is often impeded 

B 2 


or prevented by the anticipations of the feelings and ima- 

That mental childhood which experience alone can educate, 
and which the Egyptian priest in Plato describes as the pecu- 
liar characteristic of the Greeks, is not confined to the savage, 
the "child of ages," but may be found in every age and at 
every stage of civilization. For* all civilization is imperfect and 
comparative, a compound of many elements often very un- 
equally shared by those who live within its influence. Its 
name is easily confounded with those material goods and facili- 
ties of luxurious excitement which, without proportionate edu- 
cational activity, are as corrupting as instruction without 
morality, or food without exercise. As a man may be intellec- 
tually a child long after he has ceased to be so physically, so 
nations comparatively enlightened contain many individuals 
who are but the spoiled children of civilization, contributing 
nothing to its progress, and who more or less belong to that 
intellectual infancy of mankind which has been called the 
mythic age\ 

'* There is no sane mind," said Dr. Haslam, " but that of the 
Deity." A man is never perfectly sane, or perfectly matured. 
In every stage he shares more or less of that tendency to self 
delusion most conspicuous in the earliest recollections of his 
race, and which was rendered inevitable by his undisciplined 
avidity for the marvellous, and his incapacity to distinguish 
sensations from external facts. Let the inward thoughts be 
assumed to be faithful copies or pictures of external objects, 
and all mythologies may instantly claim to rank as truths, inas- 
much as they truly represent what once existed as mental 
conceptions ; every gratuitous creation of fancy or unsupported 
generalization of the intellect takes its place as a reality in time 
and place, in history and science. Upon this hypothesis it 
would be literally true that the fleet Lusitanian mares became 

^1 Ktu i 9'nrmiiivfU9H uir^mf. (Strebo, i. 19.) 


pregnant by the wind^, and the good Samaritan of the parable 
is converted into an historical personage locally accredited by 
the monks of Palestine *. 

Again, the natural man is full of childish curiosity, but is 
easily repelled by the task of investigation, and satisfied with 
reasons insufficient or false. He finds it easy to wonder, but 
difficult to understand. He justifies his ignorance by insisting 
on thq. miraculous. The ready resource of a First Cause at 
once silences doubt and supersedes inquiry^. The excitement 
of the marvellous is enjoyed with little expenditure of thought. 
Hence the ancients were unscrupulous in their appeals to divine 
causation on the most trivial occasions. The expression " ro 
Qeiov," the supernatural, was synonymous with any thing re- 
mote, strange, or otherwise impressive. Unaccountable events 
were said to be divinely brought about'; the Felasgi were 
" divine" because no one knew who they were or whence they 
came ' ; the remarkable defile of Tempo was said to have been 
formed by a special contrivance of God ^ ; the law of storms was 
the arbitrary volition of Boreas or ^olus ; the earthquake or 
volcano were the forges of Vulcan or the writhings of Enceladus. 
In the first ages of the world man was of gigantic size and 
strength, of preternatural longevity', and favoured by imme- 
diate intercourse with heaven. He was held by posterity to 
have been what in pious and poetical simplicity he thought 
himself, a friend and guest at the tables of the Gods '. His 
bread was angelic ambrosia rained down firom the sky; the 
river firom which he drank, and whose remote sources had been 
un visited, was " heaven descended ;" *^ the whole universe 

* JiMtin, U, 3. • Hawelquist, Voy., i. 184. 

* Butf rtXA^mfTmf M^ir tunrm. Find. Pyth. z. 78. 

* BMf r9%iff or, •!/» «Mv 0u»t ir^awtmt. Herod, iv. 8 ; iz. 91. Diod. S. i. 190. 
Paiuan. iv. 29; yii 8; z. 14. Appian, B.C. 1154. 

* Horn. Iliad, T. 177. 

* eiM f^rrir. JElian, V. H. 3. L p. 162. 

* Biueb. Pr. Et. iz. 17. Spanheim to Gallim, H. Dian. 132. 
' Paai. yiii. 2. 

>* Tims the Nile waa "^iiff-irnc/' Iliad, er, 174 ; Odyss. iv. 479, ")m r« mfmntt 
i;^u» rmt wnyt,** says the Scholiast. 


seemed alive with Deity ; angels came to comfort bim in his 
dreams, and bis awakening was but a livelier sympathy with a 
fictitious world, in which the flight of a bird, the fall of a 
meteor, or a rumour of uncertain origin, were so many intima- 
tions from heaven '\ Even ecstaoy and frenzy were considered 
divine**; and the barbarous Scythians repudiated a doctrine 
implicitly believed by the more credulous Greek*'. A super- 
stitious value was attributed to the casual exclamations of chil- 
dren*', and enthusiasm or drunkenness were inspiration*'. 
Everything appears miraculous before it is understood. As 
writing was attributed to Hermes, and the mechanism of lan- 
guage was an inscrutable mystery to Socrates and Pythagoras**, 
so the results of human ingenuity still astonish those who are un- 
fruniliar with the detailed operations of a factory, and the world 
itself remains to most men a scene of fortuitous change or 
capricious will instead of a fixed and intelligible arrangement. 



Cicero gives a useful rule for testing remarkable occurrences. 
''Notiiing," he says*, '' that is impossible can ever have hap- 
pened ; but that which is possible need not excite our astonish- 
ment ; for it is only our ignorance of the cause of the unknown 
phenomenon which creates the miracle." One of the first of 
modem philosophers' repeats the same thing in nearly the 

" Lennep to Hesiod, Th. 10. 

" Plato, Ph8Bdr. 244. Winer, R. W. B. ii. p. 781. 

*' Herod, iv. 79. The Delphic oracle was described as " &tidici speciu quonim 
exhalatione temulenti fiitara prsecinunt." — Pliny, H. N. ii. 93. A draught of the 
intoxicating Soma juice was said to exalt to heaven. Lassen, Ind. Ant. i. 789, 790. 

'^ Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, 14. 

'* Strabo, X. 717, 165, Teh. Plut. de defect. Or. 481. Payne, Knight Anct. Art. 
8. 68| n. 18. 

'• Plato, Cratyl. Aul. GelL x. 4. Cic. Tusc. i. 25. 

• De Diy. ii. 22. 

* Humboldt, Kosmos, p. 20. 


some words. '' The forces of Nature appear to operate ma- 
gically, shrouded as it were in the gloom of a mysterious power 
only when their workings lie beyond the bounds of generaUy 
ascertained natural conditions." To the early inhabitants of 
the East everything was unexplored, and therefore everything 
was miraculous. They assumed the universe to be either itself 
animated or peopled in all its parts by innumerable spirits; and 
the only doubt wbs as to the moral complexion of those beings, 
whether their intents were wicked or charitable, whether emis- 
saries of heaven or of hell*. Keligious teachers naturally 
adopted a character and language in conformity with prevailing 
impressions of the supernatural. Without any intention to 
deceive, they assumed in virtue of their mental superiority either 
the actual title of divinity, or at least a divine commission * ; 
and if, as Plutarch reasonably observes*, God so highly fa- 
voured poets and musicians as to grant them inspiration, no one 
could reasonably be surprised that kings and lawgivers, such as 
Minos, Zoroaster, or Numa, might be honoured in the same 
way. " For the gods," he argues, ** might seriously converse 
with such excellent persons as these in order to instruct and 
encourage them in their great attempts ; whereas if they in- 
dulged poets and musicians, it could only be by way of diver- 
sion." It was easy for men like Empedocles, Epimenides, or 
Apolionius of Tyana, to pretend to control the powers of Nature 
by feats which, superstitiously inteipreted, gave them a real 
control over the minds of the common people. Pherecydes, by 
tasting the water of a fountain, was enabled to predict the 
approach of an earthquake'; but the vulgar inference that the 
possessor of such knowledge must be a god, was as gross an 
error as that of the ignorant Maltese who thought Paul super- 
human because he was uninjured by the serpent ^. Habitual 
modes of thought are reflected in language ; and, according to 
the common complaint of philosophers of the serious mistakes 

' 1 John iv. 1 ; Deut. zriii. 22 ; Matth. Tii. 19. 

* Strabo, xvi. 761. » Vit. Numa. 

• Pliny, N. H. ii. 81. ' AcU xxriii. 6. 


about things which have originated in an incautious use of 
words*, the ancients were themselves frequently deceived by 
their own figurative expressions. Thus, from the words d xao^ 
iu^a Tfiv ^«vi»y% "the people saw the voice," the miraculous 
voice which proclaimed the law on Sinai assumes in Philo a 
visible form and figure, a complete though mysterious organiz- 
ation of members and spirit*". The modems, misled by 
the speciosa miracula of oriental language, are often in 
their matter-of-fact interpretation led to understand a literally 
superhuman agency where nothing of the kind was perhaps 
intended by the writer; for it was common, says Jerome, to 
conform m writing to the opinions of the times rather than to 
the literal strictness of truth ". Miracle, in the modem sense, 
is a direct infraction of the order of Nature ; the Divine power 
controlling, interrupting, or disorganizing itself; it must amount 
to this, or it ceases to be sufficient evidence in the cases to 
which it is applied. The ancient idea did not necessarily in- 
volve this absurdity; a sign or wonder was little more than 
a signal exhibition of superior wisdom or address. The pre- 
tensions of the ancients to inspiration or magic stood on dif- 
ferent grounds from modem charlatanism; they were unasso- 
ciated with any distinct notions of the absolute perfection and 
uniformity of natural law ; anything unusual or superlative in 
its kind ", even an opportune shower of rain, or lucky escape 
from the fall of a tree ' *, received a superstitious yet not extra- 
vagant distinction from the common course of events. Even 
the Hebrews, who supposed themselves under the immediate 
superintendence of Jehovah, did not pretend to such a measure 
of supernatural intervention as could supersede the necessity of 
an Arab guide through the desert **, or exempt their judge from 

' Plutarcb, Isis and OsiriB, ch. 6L 

* Exod. XX. 18. 
>• Mangey'8 Philo, u. 185, 408. 

" In Jeram. ch. 28. " Malta in Scripturis ncrii dicnntur jnxta opinionem illius 
temporiB, et non juxta id qnod rei yeritas continebat" 

" Gomp. Daniel t. 11, 14 ; ti. 3. Josephns, Apion, ii. 6. 

»* Hist. Alex. Comncn., ch. 6. " Numb. x. 29, 32. 


the common infirmities of human nature *'. And when, in the 
Bihle, God is stated to have made with his own hands coats 
of skins to clothe the first dwellers on the earth, and usefdl 
inventions of other kinds are ascribed to G^res or Vulcan, to 
Osiris or Jemsheed, the meaning in plain prose, or at least the 
only legitimate inference, is merely that these discoveries are of 
immemorial antiquity, and derived from an apparently intuitive 
perception of the adaptation of natural expedients to human 
wants. If superior talent is ascribed to divine inspiration '', or 
victory to Heaven *' ; if the breeze is called the spirit of God '", 
and storms, sickness, or death his emissaries '"; these, in order 
to be correctly rendered into modem phraseology, must be viewed 
as the bold but not unusual metaphors of the poetry of the 
East. " Scripture," says Grotius, " contains miracles enough 
without gratuitously multiplying them." '** 

§ 3. 


Religion often appears to be a mere sentiment, because the 
reason by which it should be disciplined requires long cultiva- 
tion, and can only gradually assume its proper prominence and 
dignity. The faculties are seldom combined in its avowed ser- 
vice; and from its consequent misdirection has been inferred 
the impossibility of finding within the limits of the mind an 
effectual religious guide. It has even been said that religion 
has properly nothing to do with the head, but is exclusively an 
exercise of the hecut and feelings; that all the teaching or edu- 
cation which can properly be called "religious" consists "in 
the formation of the temper and behaviour, the infusing devo- 
tional feeling, and the implanting of Christian principles." ' In 

» Bzod. zTiii. 18. 

•• Bxod. xxxi 8. " Exod. xxi 18. 

» Gen. i. 2. Exod. z. 13 ; ziv. 21. Nahniu i. 8. Ps. Izzviii. 26. 

»• P». civ. 4 ; cxlviii. 8. Heb. i. 7. ■• Ad Exod. zx. 1. 

* Remarks on Popular Education, by H. P. Hamilton. Parker, 1847. 


other words, the highest faculty of the mind is not required 
in the service of him who bestowed it. Through this narrow 
view the sentiments are over-excited; the judgment becomes 
proportionately languid and incapable, the connection between 
the theory and practice of duty is unobserved, and dogmas 
are blindly learned without regard to their origin or meaning. 
Superficial religion has every where the same result; it fluctuates 
between the extremes of insensibility and superstition, and 
exhibits in this respect a curious parallel to the analogous 
catastrophe of notional philosophy. The uneducated feeling 
has only the alternative of unquestioning credulity, or of 
sacrificing and abrogating itself. This is the universal dilemma 
of artificial creeds; their votaries divide into formalists and 
sceptics^ Pharisees, and Sadducees; Calvinism, in our own 
days, has swung back to rationalism, and the symbolical 
forms of ancient religion are pronounced by a competent 
observer to have generally led to these contradictory extremes'. 
The passage is easy from one to the other. The devotional 
feeling of a Catholic of die middle age might have been de- 
stroyed if the doctrines of Copernicus or Galileo had induced 
him to mistrust the infallibility of the Pope; and, in the days of 
Sir Thomas Browne, it may have been correct to say that a dis- 
belief in witchcraft implied " a sort of atheism." Horace was 
startled out of his irreligious philosophy by a clap of thunder ; 
but if a heathen who saw an angry Hecate in the eclipsed moon 
could have understood a modem almanack, he might at once 
have fallen into the impiety from which Horace was a convert. 
The want of a proper control over the senses and feelings by 
the understanding has ever been the great source of religious 
corruption. The magnificence of external nature, the " sun in 
his strength," or the ** moon walking in brightness," * led men to 
rest indolently in their earliest and easiest impressions, and to 
invest the most obvious material symbols with the attributes of 

' Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, ch. 67. 

' Job xxxi. 26. Deut. iv. 19. Wisd. xiii. 8. Comp. Philo de Confus. linguar. 
Pfeif. iii. 894. Diod. S. iii. 394. Clem. Alex. Protr. 22. 


divinity. To rude men, deficient in precision of language as of 
ideas, abstract conceptions could be conveyed only by physical 
representations and visible forms. The Hebrew prophets drama- 
tised the particulars of their mission, and the diplomatic lan- 
guage of the Scythians was contained in significant tokens of 
birds and mice, of firogs and arrows*. For the same reason 
symbols became the almost universal language of ancient theo- 
logy*. They were the most obvious method of instruction ; for, 
like Nature herself, they addressed the understanding through 
the eye, and the most ancient expressions denoting com- 
munication of religious knowledge signify ocular exhibition ^ 
But figurative emblems, however congenial to the infancy of the 
mind, impeded its progress to maturity. Illustrations were con- 
founded with their objects. The imagery of the temples, under- 
stood not symbolically but literally, underwent the same fate 
which afterwards befel words and notions, and became an un- 
meaning superstition, useful only as a pious fraud for political 
purposes, and to provide excitement for fanatical imaginations^. 
To teach the direct lessons of truth was deemed impracticable 
and unsafe. The emblem or allegory was left unexplained' 
to minds incapable of interpreting it^, and the Egyptians ima- 
gined they imitated the example of nature when they concealed 
their lore within the gloom of temples or beneath the veil of 
hieroglyphics. Formularies, perpetuated by deferential feeling 
as inviolable and unalterable, either consigned the understand- 
ing to the hopeless darkness deplored by the Apostle '*, or to 
the equally dangerous reaction of incredulity, which in Greece 
produced sceptaoism in philosophy, Euhemerism in religion, and 
left the gods only as empty names to embellish the titles of 
Alexander, Demetrius, or Oeesar. 

« Herod, ir. 131. 

* Clem. Alex. Strom, ri. 61& Pans. 8, 8,2. lamblic. Yit. Pjtii. 28. Strabo, x. 474. 

* 0. g. tl^ftyf^tt, ^tJ^t itmt, mnpemtf, c|ifiiMv, &c. Herod. iL 49. Horn. Od. x. 
802. Iliad, 187. 

' Neander's Hut. Traof. i. p. 6. Strabo, vii. p. 297. Qu. Curt iv. 10.. 

* Lobeck, Aglaoph. p. 144. - * Plato, Rep^ ii. 878. 
'* Bphes. iv. 18. 1 Corintb. xiT. 38. 




The religion of the Hebrews was peculiarly of that sensual 
and sentimental kind which it is almost impossible to confine 
within the limits of a wholesome enthusiasm. Much of the de- 
votional language of their sacred books must be placed to the 
account of their ndeness and ignorance. They regarded the 
order of the world, not as an intelligible succession of causes 
apd consequences, but as a series of wonders played off for 
their especial service in the way either of reward, instruction, or 
punishment. The several nations of the earth, presumed to 
correspond in number with that of the patriarchs who went into 
Egypt ^ were each under the presidency of one of the angels, 
wiiile the chosen people were led and protected by God in person, 
who indeed had made the world exclusively for their sakes. " As 
for the other people which likewise come of Adam, thou hast said 
they are nothing, but be like unto spittle; and thou hast likened 
the abundance of them unto a drop tbatfaUeth &om a vessel."* 
The high poetical and moral value of the choicest Hebrew lite- 
rature is tarnished by an arrogant nationaUty, and an unchari- 
table feeling towards the rest of mankind; and if a few prophets 
pleaded nobly in favour of sincerity and justice, their precepts 
were neutralized by precedents which under the name of reli- 
gion justified treachery, exclusiveness, and cruelty. Hebrew re- 
ligion contained no steady intellectual principle of progress; it 
might make an effort to recover the plain maxims of morality 
when they had been forgotten, but it could supply no continuing 
principle for the support of society except the spur of vindic- 
tive ambition, and that puerile and superstitious pride fi:om 
which it never, except in Christianity, emerged. As the sun 
stood still, or even went backward for the ancient Israelite, so 

' Beat xzxii. 8, LXX. G«ii. xlvi. 27. Bzod. i. 5. Deut z. 22. Jerug. Tar- 
guxn to Gen. zi. 7. HorapoUo. I 14. Clem. Alez. Strom, vi. 17 ; vii. 2. 
' 2 Bsdras vi 56. 


even in those latter days, when communications with the super- 
natural world had become comparatiyely rare, and Jehovah 
seemed to have abandoned his people to the persecutions of the 
Gentiles, the Jew still believed himself to be the especial 
favourite of heaven, and that a time would come when the an- 
cient promise would by a startling requital be justified before 
the world. In the mean time, not only men, but animals, and 
plants, even the commonest weed, had each their allotted 
guardian spirit'; sicknesses of the most trivial kind, and par- 
ticularly epilepsy, were attributed to the agency of daemons*. 
The healing power of a mineral spring was owing to the inter- 
ference of an angel*; and every dunghill was infested by its 
own Asmodeus*. 

The Jews as a nation were hopelessly illiterate ; even the art 
of writing was a rare accomplishment among the lower classes 
in the age of the apostles^. The Babbis, whofte learning con- 
sisted of a wilderness of formal observances and quibbling in- 
terpretations handed down by oral tradition, succeeded to the 
ancient authority of priests and prophets; and the Talmud is 
an exhibition of what had passed for wisdom among the most 
distinguished of the nation for many hundred years prior to its 
being committed to writing at Babylon or Jerusalem. As proof 
of the puerility of the Jews in their notions of literary criti- 


cism, it is only necessary to recollect that the book of Enoch, 
an evident imitation of Daniel, written under Herod the Great ', 

' Origen to Numb. Op. ii. 828. Jerome to Habak. i. 14. Ker. ix. 11 ; xiv. 18, 
&c GFfrorer Ui€bristenthum, i. 369. 

* Luke adii. 11. • John r. 4." 

' Magical receipts are given in tbe Talmud for making the powers of the air (Ephe- 
aians iL 2 ; vi 12) yiaible to mortal organs ; and it was considered dangerous by the 
Jews, as by the Greeks (Aristoph. Ares. 1490, Schol.), to salute any one by night 
lest it should turn out to be a devil. Devils frequented lonely places, especially 
ruins, sepulchres, and privies; and Babbi A&i, when he went alone into a haunted 
privy, near Tiberias, used peculiar precautions. (Qfr^rer. Urchrist i. 409.) CSar- 
diacns, or the heartbom^ is a deemon who attacks those who drink too much of the 
juice of the wine-press : canine madness is another of the devil's pranks. (lb. 412.) 

' Bishop Thirl wall's PrefiM:e to Schleiermacher's Luke, p. 118. 

* Gfr5rer, Urchristenthuro, i. 93, &c. 


is seriously quoted by the Apostle Jude as composed by the 
" seventh from Adam."" In the Babbinical schools, a ready 
memory was as necessary as among the Druidical neophytes, 
and was more prized than soundness of understanding '^ The 
great maxim was to '* hedge round the law ; " that is, to preserve 
inviolate the traditional and estabhshed. The reading of foreign 
books was placed under an anathema. '' £x.ecrabilis esto qui 
alit porcos/' said the Talmud ; exeorabilis item, qui docet filium 
suum sapiendam Grsecam." Estranged from foreign contact*', 
and confined to the one only circle of mystic theology, Jewish 
literature was but another name for the Mosaic law ; and its in- 
terpreters, the Rabbi and the Scribe, claimed an infallibility and 
authority over the laity superior even to that of the inspired 
writers on whom they commented, or of the law itself. In 
one instance*' a Babbi is appealed to as umpire to settle a 
disputed point "of theology between God and the angels; and 
Rabbi Solomon Jarchi ^* declares that '* if a Rabbi should teach 
that the left hand is the right, and the right the left, we are 
bound to believe him."" 

The power of changing the course of nature, or of predicting 
future events, being considered the necessary means of attesting a 
divine commission, the art of distinguishing the true prophet from 
the false became one of the most important problems of Hebrew 
theology; for the love of signs and wonders was the characteristic 
of the Jew, as the taste for philosophic speculation and discussion 

• Jnde, ver. 14. 

»• Conf. Dent. iv. 9. Gfrorer. Urchrirt. i. 169. 

" Conf. Tacitus, Hist. y. 5. Juvenal, S. 14, 108. Joseph. Antiq. 20, 11, 2. 

" Mishna Sanhedr. ch. xiv. 8. 

" Gfrdrer. i. p. 148. " Ad Deut. xvii. 11. 

** Archbishop Lan£ranc, when a monk, instructing some neophytes in Latin, is 
sud to have been reproved by the Abbot as for a &Ise quantity in saying " docere ;'* 
he instantly corrected himself, and said ''docSre." Incredibile prope dictu est, 
(says Freigius in his Life of Bamus), sed tamen vemm, in Farisiensi Academic Doc- 
tores extitisse qui mordicns tuerentur ac defenderent, " Ego amat" tarn commodam 
orationem esse quiUn " ego amo ;" ad eamque contumaciam comprimendam publico 
opus fuisse. The basis of this absurdity was the Hebrew text of the passages Isaiah 
xxxviii. 5 and Mai. i. 6, literally rendered, " Ego addet super dies tuos." 


was the peculiar distiiiotion of the Greek *'. The author of Chris- 
tianity often deplores the slavery to sense, and the avidity for the 
miraculouB, which prevailed among his countrymen; he reproves 
them for their blindness of heart and understanding, and for the 
pertinaoity with which they rejected all evidence but that of 
ocular demonstration and marvellous signs *^. He himself ap- 
peals rather to the moral character of his works in evidence of 
his mission than to their miraculous nature^'; nay, belief was 
rather a condition antecedent to the works than a result to be 
always produced by them'*. Yet he is generally represented to 
have been in this respect obliged to conform with oriental feel- 
ing, and to supply at all hazards a sufficient abundance of the 
coarse food which at the time was necessary to support the en- 
thusiasm of a religious party '^ Christianity in its origin was 
a Jewish heresy''; and with its essential and better spirit were 
blended many of the contracted habits of thinking among 
which it originated. Its author vainly endeavoured to substi- 
tute a more effectual test of truth '^ than the rude criterion of 
supernatural exhibitions, which had so often been found incon- 
clusive and deceptive*''; and it was only by slow degrees that 
the Apostles themselves abandoned the idea of a poUdcal Mes- 
siah'^, or the narrow notion which would have made the Gospel 

^ 1 Corinth, i. 22. Matt. xii. 38. Mark xv. 82. John vi. 80. 

" John W. 48; xz. 29. 

'• John T. 80; x. 26, 82, 87; xiv. 11; xv. 24; xx. 29. 

'* Matt xL 58. Mark vi. 5. John xii. 37. 

** A mervation being of courae to be made on account of the uncertainty of the 
traditiont. The expression (John vi. 21), wrongly translated in our version, " They 
wished to take him into the ship ;** followed by " immediately the ship touched the 
shore/* throws a doubt upon the miiaculous nature of the £Eu:t recorded. In the 
same chapter Christ is called on by the very persons said to have just before wit- 
nessed and been convinced by the miracle of the loaves, to give some ''sign'' as a 
foundation for their believing his mission (v. 80) ; the question either destroys the 
authenticity of the antecedent mixacle, or must it^lf be regarded as unhistorical, as 
an artifice of composition devised to elicit the doctrines of the answer given to it. 

•' Acts xxiv. 14. «• Matt. vii. 16, 20. 

" Bxod. vii. 11. Mark xiii. 6, 22. 

** Luke xxiv. 21. 


exclusively " the children's meat". The more liberal views of 
the anti-Jewish party^ though ostensibly sanctioned by miracle, 
were strenuously resisted by their fanatical brethren; and the 
first council of Jerusalem reported in the Acts, was held for the 
purpose of exonerating the Gentiles from some of the more in- 
tolerable and unnecessary observances of the Mosaic law. But 
though Christianity made an early effort to emancipate itself 
from Jewish fetters, there were many inveterate habits of 
thinking intermingled with it against which it was the less 
likely to rebel, because they meet with a faithful echo and sup- 
port in all ages among the ignorant and larger portion of man- 
kind. Jesus might easily foresee from the temperament of his 
countrymen the hazardous extremes to which they might be 
exposed by their ready credulity, and the dangerous use which 
might be made by zealots and impostors of their extravagant 
and long- cherished expectations. Yet even his own followers 
inherited not only many of the usages and festivals of the Jews, 
but an ample share of their propensity to superstition. Neither 
Christianity nor Judaism could effectually separate the pure and 
natural elements from the false and artificial as long as the latter 
had the prepossessions of mankind in their favour, and met with 
no check from philosophy. Practical exigencies rescued our own 
municipal law from feudalism, and made it conform more and 
more nearly to the actual requirements of society; but religion 
stood comparatively aloof from the necessities which insured 
the improvement of empirical art, and its only risk being a want 
as yet unfelt, it continued to cling to antique forms as to the 
necessary conditions of its existence. It flung off the more 
galling of its chains, and made a temporary stand against the 
tyranny of authority; but the real source of slavery was in the 
mind, which, enfeebled by indolence, and imperfectly taught by 
philosophy, again resigned itself to a superstition akin to that 
against which it had revolted. Hence the prevailing unwilling- 

** John viii. 33. Matt. iii. 9; zv. 27. Mark vu. 27. Bom. iz. 7. Acta z. 
14, 84 ; zi. 2. 


ness to reason on religions snbjects; hence too the doctrines of 
Christianity^ associated daring so many dark ages with a belief 
in supernatural intervention^ still appear from habit as if indis- 
solubly and essentially connected with them; and to place an 
unhesitating faith in the marvels of Palestine is as rigorously 
exacted from the candidate for salvation as the weightier matters 
of the law of love, its meekness, forbearance, and beneficence. 



Beligion is an eternal, never-failing principle ; but its name 
has generally been usurped by those artificial forms of ritual or 
creed, which, founded on peculiar circumstances of time and 
place, are confined within certain geographical or chronological 
limits. It is indeed impossible to conceive any system of reli- 
gious symbols or dogmas, which, not wearing the livery of 
a particular time, shall have an equal pertinency and validity in 
all ages and nations. No such standard has ever yet been 
realised'. The ceremonial of Moses and of Mahomet had only 
a local and temporal application, and conceptions partake of 
the same partial and artificial character. Greeds as well as 
ceremonies are limited in their usefulness, and consequently in 
their duration. Forms are in their nature transitory; for being 
destitute of flexibility and power of self- accommodation to 
altered circumstances, they become in time unconformable to 
realities, and stand only as idle landmarks of the past, or 
like deserted channels requiring to be filled up. Charity 
is indeed an eternal truth, a universal duty; but the Apos- 
tle admits the partial and temporary character of reUgious 
institutions, whether of ceremony or symbol, for he conti- 
nues, " whether there be prophecies, they shall fail, whether 
there be knowledge, it shdl vanish away." For both know- 
ledge and prophecy, the attainments of a particular age, and 

* BmTit moltU in rebiiB antiquitai, qiuu vel ubu jam, rel doctrin^ tel Tetnstate 
immutatas Tidemos. Cic. de Div. ii. 33. 

VOL. I. C 


the institutional worship adapted to them, are partial and imper- 
fect'; and must inevitably be superseded by something worthier 
and better as the sphere of observation becomes enlarged, and 
the results of thought more matured and comprehensive. How 
wide the interval between the rehgion of the patriarchs and that 
of the prophets of Israel; or again, between the spirit of Moses 
and of Paul; between the political and jealous Jehovah of the 
Hebrew, and the universal parent of the Christian! From 
savages who scarcely know of God, or who look to him as a 
being rather baleful than beneficent, from the slave of sense, 
who, reversing the order of creation, forms a God after his own 
image, and like the Thracian or Negro supposes him to be dark 
skinned or ruddy ", according to the varieties of human com- 
plexion, to the unpersonified unity of Xenophanes, or the 
*' unmixed good" of Plato, how many the steps of intellectual 
gradation, each of which, if creeds were always rigidly invio- 
lable, must have been painfully won by suffering and martyrdom. 
All religions, whether Hindoo, or Greek, h^e been more lenient 
to speculative differences than to the infraction of external 
forms; but forms must at last resign themselves to the power 
of opinion; and the silent changes of thought would inevit- 
ably have been attended with corresponding modifications of 
external observance, if it were not that the bulk of mankind 
assume a religion, like a parochial settlement, passively and un- 
reflectingly as a part of their birthright, and consult for ever 
after their religious prejudices as they do their watches, each 
confident in his own mechanical result, neither attempting to 
correct its imperfections, nor even suspecting their existence*. 
The whole amount of the conceptions of our age are but 

« 1 Corinth. rUL 8, 10. • Clem. Alex. Str. vii. 711. 

* Conyentional religion is at a French dinner, of which we know neither the in- 
gredients nor the manner in which they hare been compounded, or the hands through 
which thej have passed ; but are content to take and eat it as it is served up to us. 
" Theological systems are too oiWn," sajrs Jordn (Dissert. 2), "as temples dedicated 
to implicit faith, and he who enters to worship in them, instead of leaving his shoes 
after the Bastem manner, must leave his understanding at the door, and it will be 
well if he find it when he comes out again.*' 


glimpses of relative truth bent and refracted in a thousand de* 
viations, which properly belong only to one transitory moment 
in the continuous development of ages ; yet we make our own 
ideas, whether of religion or philosophy, the invariable measure 
of those of other people, and of other times; and thus compla- 
cently cherishing the conceit of stability where in reality all is 
in motion, and of completeness where all is imperfect, we ob- 
stinately defend under the name of ^* Divine Truth" the idols 
of imagination which are already escaping from our grasp, and 
rapidly passing from the real into the formal, and thence to the 
ridiculous and obsolete. But every desertion of nature at last 
produces a reaction. The time predicted by the Apostle* will 
at length arrive, when artificial forms and transmitted dogmas 
will have completed their mission, and be absorbed in a system 
more philosophical and natural. 



The religious sentiment which at an early age fed on super- 
naturalism is forced into a different direction without being 
weakened by the cultivation of the reason. Miracles die out 
as they approach the confines of civilization', and the duration 
of human life and the general course of nature feJl into the 
routine of common experience. Phenomena, which before 
appeared arbitrary acts of power, assume when connected and 
compared an intelligible aspect as orderly results of law. 
Seeming exceptions to the usual succession of events are rarely 
seen, and their exceptional character is at once felt to be only 
apparent and deceptive. Men have never yet attained, and 
believe to be unattainable', that absolute and exhaustive know- 

* 1 Corinth. XT. 28. 

* KoU, in hit aoeoimt of the Biuman supentitioni reipecting the aacred canon- 
ties of the Kremlin, gives loine curioiu instaneee of the rapid growth of m jthi in a 
soil &younble to them. Busaia, 1842, p. 216 of the Eng. Translation. 

' Men, that is, impressed with the oonTictions of indnctiye philosophy, or those 

C 2 


ledge of physical causes which would be necessary for the 
satisfactory attestation of miracle'. Miracle, as it must now 
be understood, implies something inconsistent with the order of 
a perfect goyemment, something overlooked in the original 
plan requiring an interpolation contradictory to its general 
tenour. This contradiction was never contemplated by the 
ancients. Their imaginations were excited by what was strange 
to look to a divine agent, but it was precisely from their 
defective notions of the order of the whole that they recognised 
a pecuhar divinity in the exceptional. It was only in the 
imagination of a poet under peculiar circumstances that two 
contradictory wills could be supposed to co-exist in the divine 
mind*, and even then the fluctuating ruler of Olympus was 
made subordinate to a higher and controlling power. A perfect 
and immutable being cannot break his own laws, or be at 
variance with himself; his power is only commensurate with 
his will ; he cannot, because he will not, do that which would 
be inconsistent, prejudicial, and unjust*. And why should the 
order of nature be disturbed for the sake of those who, sub- 
mitting the understanding to the eye and demanding signs or 
wonders as an indispensable condition of belief, may discover 
them abundantly in the uncomprehended order of natural 
events ? Why derange a machinery so vast, so perfect in its 
connection and so infinite in its relations, in order to effect a 
doubtful surprise or obscure conviction among the most ignorant 
of mankind, whose authority as witnesses must ever, from the 
imperfection of their knowledge, be open to exception, and 
remain insufficient to transfer the impressions at first received 
through the long series of sceptical generations? Tt is not 
incredible that Ood can raise the dead, for his ability to do so 
is abundantly evident in nature ; it is incredible only that he 

who hare experienced how often appearances once thought miraculous admit of ex- 

' By the same mode of arguing, Speusippus is said to have exposed the weakness 
of the philosophy of definitions. Eitter. Hist. Phil. ii. 456. 

* ** Look, what I will not, that I cannot do." — Meaturefor Measure. 


should do SO in a manner inconsistent with his own eternal 
law8> and it would haye been no irrational inference which 
should haye ascribed an admitted infraction of those laws to 
Beelzebub, to demoniacal agency instead of to divine*. Why, it 
is said, is it unreasonable to suppose that God may choose to 
exhibit his unquestioned power over the universe by bending it 
to his will? Why unlikely that on some striking occasions in 
the past history of the world he should have exhibited emphatic 
and unmistakeable examples to after ages in proof of his regard 
for the principles of justice and virtue? It is because, not to 
mention the questionable morality of many recorded miracles, 
and the impossibility of providing in any human testimony an 
adequate guarantee of their reality, he has already done all 
this more effectually by the undeviating energy of his ordinary 
laws. Through them he speaks a language addressed not 
merely to the eye, but to the reason, whose written characters 
are never to be effaced by time, obscured by doubts, or 
interpolated with spurious and inconsistent additions. Were 
miracles really indispensable for religious improvement and 
consolation, heaven forbid there should be any limits to our 
credulity, or that we should hesitate for an instant to believe all 
the exaggerations of oriental expression, or to prefer the wildest 

* Gomp. Mutt xii 24, whh Bobertaon's America, book It. p. 169. The mythical 
idea of sin against the Holy Ghost, as to which see Gfrdrer. Uichrist. iL 402, as 
applied by Christ to the objections of the Pharisees, is that of wilfully and nngrate- 
fnlly misrepresenting the motives of a bene&ctor, of ascribing acts evidently good to 
a bad prindpla Christ here in a great measure disavows the validity of the evi- 
dence of miracle, making, as do the ablest divines, the doctrines a proof of the mira- 
cle rather than the miracles of the doctrine. The objection of the Pharisees, fiur 
from having anything to do with the idea of univeraal law, is itself a strong instance 
of the insufficiency of the argument from miracle, and of its liability to perversion. 
Thej who believed in miracle generally could not deny the miraculous pretensions of 
an adverMU^; they therefore ascribed them to diabolical power, as Marco Polo and 
other Boman missionaries represented the fraudulent wonders of the Pagan priest- 
hood. The trial of the spirits was not accompanied by any trial of the fact. The 
shower of rain which assisted Marcus Aurelius in the war with the Marcomanni 
was ascribed by the Christians to the efficacy of their own prayers, by the Bmperor 
himself to the &vour of Jupiter, by others to the magic art of Julianus, &c. ; but no 
one thought of questioning the miraculous character of the event. 


dreams of the child or savage to the rash theories of the philoso- 
pher. Bat the hypothesis of miracle has lost its usefulness, as 
well as a large share of its popularity. It no longer promotes a 
spirit of piety, when God is rather studied in the known than 
guessed at through the unknown, when the ordinary and regular 
is acknowledged to he more truly divine than the strange and 
accidental. Addressed to the ignorant and unthinking, it pro- 
duces no permanent conviction of comprehensive beneficence and 
wisdom. It substitutes disarrangement and anarchy for certainty 
and order, nninstructive, because defying all comparison and 
analogy, it leads to no useftd lesson but that which is better 
proved without its assistance. It is no more necessary to the 
present support of Christianity than those usages of the cere- 
monial law discarded at its outset. A belief in the miraculous, 
or Messianic character of Jesus, was in his own day the most 
decisive test of superiority to vulgar prejudice and of a dis- 
position to conform to the spiritualism of Christianity; now 
circumstances are reversed, for by a strange misapprehension of 
the nature and objects of £euth, the weightier matters of charity 
and justice are deprived of their due preponderance and made 
secondary to a blind belief in the supernatural and mystical 
But belief in mirade is worse than useless; it creates false 
notions of God's nature and government; it arms the imagina- 
tion against the reason ; it discourages the cultivation of the 
intellect, and darkens the path of duty. It demoralizes by 
superseding prudential care and the feeling of immediate 
responsibility. It removes God from the world, and brings 
him back again only by a convulsive start of superstitious 
amazement. The supposition of a partial and capricious 
government of nature has much the same effect as if it were 
unhappily realized. When Ulysses ascribed to God the effects 
of his own negligence in forgetting his^ cloak ^ or when Ajax 
considered his falling on slippery ground to be the injurious 
act of Minerva', the real cause of these mischances would 
probably be unheeded and uncorrected. Superstition miscon- 

' OdyKj. xiv. 488. • Iliad, xxiii. 774. 


Btrues human natare as well as diTine; it makes God a tyrant*, 
the ine&plicable author, or negligent spectator of pain, disease, 
and evil*^ and attributes to him ev^ severe calamity as a 
penal infliction, penal, not in regard to the immediate fault or 
negligence from which it has arisen, hut in retaliation for some 
theoretical corruption or general sin, with which the particular 
suffering has no ascertainable connection. But in the perfects 
code of the universe pain is never inflicted except to i nstruct , 
to corzect, or to save, the uses of adversity hemg most con- 
spicuous in the precision with which they point their moi 
And when the man, abandoning the playthings of the child, to 
whom alone the explanation of a mystery is a disappointment, 
begins to appreciate the wisdom of order and the kindness of 
inflexibility, he discovers the constitution of the world to be in /J \^U 
harmony with his awakened powers of intelligent observation. ^ T /^ 
Nothing is unintelligible, though much is not understood"; no- ^yX^ / 
thingismiraculous, though everything is wonderful. Through- ^ , 

out the universe he sees no room for prodigies, no possibility of r^*^ ^^*^ 
accident. He desires not that God should infringe the regu- 
larity of his own proceedings in order to demonstrate the fact 
of his superintendence or existence, since he derives a much 
stronger conviction of these truths from the regularity of nature 
furnishing the basis of a prescience limited cmly by the inability 
of the faculties to embrace the wide extent of her arrangements. 
Miracle should have altered its name with the alteration in 
the idea, for from the moment when the reality of a divine 
system of law was manifested to philosophy, the belief in it ^ ^ 

became blasphemous as well as immoral, an imputation 03, /4 .^ J 
divine wisdom and^goodness^ For God is not the God of the 

* e. g. Id the ezpreMkmfl, " Z«»» iAim ««m9 /««f«v/' &c. Iliad, tI. 857 ; Paiu. 
ix. 87 ; or when the modern Syrians, interrogated why they bo abound in yermin 
while EoMpeaas afe free, reply " It i« the cnrpe of God on them." Kelly's Syria, 
p. 73. 

** One of the insaperable diificultiei of miracle is the moral one, why, if really 
poMibla, it does not manifest itself oftener. A descent of Vishnou is too often 
wished for io ^n. fitfj^ 

I *' There is no real mystery except esdopces and final causes. • I Y ^ Cr'uJy^* 

/t^;^«,»^ A ^ t^^iZy- r.^«V.^ /t.— «*..<.'-- - 


exceptional or contradictory, but of the consistent and universal; 
watching over the welfare of the sparrow as well as over Solomon 
in his glory ; the omnipresent, impartial mind working within 
self-prescribed limits*', not the subtle magician, mechanical con- 
structor, or patronizing monarch '*. His inarticulate but impres- 
sive voice is heard in silence '^, addressing not the mere senses, 
but, through their intervention, the emotions and thoughts, and 
the universe itself, which, as interpreted by poets, spoke only to 
the feeling for the beautiinl, or the passion for the marvellous, 
becomes the Alexandrian Logos, the eloquent and infallible 
exponent of the true '*. 


The basis of all our real knowledge is the reliance we place 
on the constancy and precision of nature. Nothing could be 
truly learned, nor any value attached to experience, but for the 

*' The belief in mimculouB agency becomes actually displaced by the discoyery of 
verm catuoe, that it, the causes on which erenta are really found to depend. When 
it is observed that results once ascribed to supernatural agency are actually or pro- 
spectiyely attainable from natural, the belief in miracle, or of an exceptional action 
of the Deity, becomes proportionably weakened, and at length is altogether mei^d 
in a conviction of the uniformity of his goTemment. The expedient of supposing 
miracles to be results of a more general and hitherto unascertained law is not only 
inapplicable to the cases where they are supposed to be wanted, but a virtual aban- 
donment of the whole principle. 

^ Bectius atque honestius est sic arbitrari summam illam potestatem secretam 
ooeli penetmlibus, et illis qui longissimd sepaiantur et proximis unSL et eadem ratione 
opem salutis aflferre, nee penetrontem atque adeuntem specialiter singula nee in- 
decor^ attrectantem oomini^s cuncta — talis quippe humilitas ne cum homine quidem 
oonvenit qui sit vel paululiim conscientiie snperioris. Apuleitts de Mundo, 344, 
p. 402. 

>4 *<Dii tacendo res indicant" — rtytnrtt XmXwrt, Porphyry de Abstb. 226 

» "Unable to see God himself,'* says Philo, (Mangey. I 419; Pfei£ iii. 858.) 
" we may at least hope to see his image, the most holy Logos, or Word ; in whom is 
comprehended the most perfect of sensible things, the Universe ; for philosophy is 
nothing more than a zealous effort to see and understand these things." 


invariable connection of cause and effect, and the certainty and 
fixity of the laws of creation. When providential government 
is admitted to be regular and undeviating, then and then only 
is an unlimited field of exertion and education opened to the 
intellect. Were the Creator liable to be influenced by caprice, 
or to be diverted irom his purposes by entreaty, his works would 
not only be involved in ridiculous confusion, but would be 
intelligible to himself alone, and destitute of meaning and 
instruction to his rational creatures. The philosopher would 
then be really no nearer to heaven than the ploughman. 
Nature must ever remain an object of childish wonder, not of 
intelligent study. Even the Chaldees would have abandoned 
their observatories in despair if they had really credited the 
miracle of the dial of Ahaz ' ; and there would be little prospect 
of obtaining any certainty in regard to the laws of meteorology, 
if real efficacy could be supposed to attach to occasional 
petitions for rain or fine weather. The sentiments of awe and 
admiration which were the acknowledged source of religious 
and of all knowledge^, could become so only by exciting the 
mind to activity in the comparison and analysis of the pheno- 
mena which nature, in many respects so penurious, furnishes 
with unlimited prodigality to give exercise to our minds. Her 
meaning, though not obvious, is never hopelessly mysterious ; 
and her external adornment being always subservient and 
secondary to an ulterior useful end, both the wonderful and the 
beautiful, relatively to the human mind, may be regarded as 
incentives to attention, amusing and exciting the fancy in order 
to suggest wisdom to the understanding. Knowledge is but 
familiarity with the means employed by nature to accomplish 
her designs, and the practical application of knowledge for the 
purposes of happiness is wisdom. The process by which the 
mind is generally enabled to discover those natural arrange- 
ments which it is the part of wisdom to apply and to obey 
may be shortly and simply stated. Science is methodised 
experience. Being is made known to us only through its 

' 2 Chron. xxrii. 81. « Pro v. i. 7. Eccles. i. 14, 20. 


manifestations and effects. We examine and compare such 
of these as can be brought within reach of our sensations, 
registering their mutual relations, their coordination, con- 
formity, &c. Observation suggests hypothesis, and hypothesis 
in its turn points out new objects for observation. Facts 
arranged and compared lead to the discovery of general facts 
and of those uniformities of action called laws of nature, and 
an aggregate of well tested and correlated laws is a science. 
Science is the intellectual tribute to religion; for its office is 
essentially subservient to religious and moral practice, the 
knowledge of the true being immediately convertible into the 
doing of the right. The systematized records of experience to 
which we give the name of science are unsatisfying to man as 
a merely contemplative being, but exactly suited to his wants 
as an active and moral one. They teach him not what is 
absolutely true, but what is true relatively to himself*. He 
imbibes from experience a general sense of obligation simul- 
taneously with the perception of truth, at first by that involuntary 
suggestion which resembles instiiict, and afterwards through 
deliberate and self-conscious inferences. Nature both within 
and without has ever a definite aim, and inevitably makes him 
feel the powerful instrumentality by which she ensures the 
general accomplishment of her object. He is surrounded by 
incitements on the one hand, and by checks and limitations on 
the other, being hemmed in as it were by circumstances, so as 
to be in some degree protected from injuring himself or others 
by wanton or involuntary indiscretions. But until the under- 
standing is developed, the economy of his being is unsafe and 
imperfect. A man's most important education begins at the 
maturity of his fiu;ulties, the time at which it is commonly sup- 
posed to end, when for the first time he becomes fiilly aware of 
the meaning and intimate connection between truth and duty, 
and when from elementary pupilage he may be said to be 
launched into the great school of the universe, where knowledge, 

'* 11 n*y a pas pour rhomme d autre verite que la verite humaine ; c est la seule 
quil lui goit donne d'atteindre. Joui&t>y. 


Belf-interest, and sentiment cooperating, lead him more securely 
in the path of duty and philosophy. But the theory of educa- 
tion, simple enough when yiewed as the general reactionary 
process between the mind and nature, becomes much more 
complicated when we regard it in reference to particular droum- 
stances and times. The elementary education of the day is a 
reversal, in some degree an inevitable one, of the natural pro- 
cess; it is the recapitulation of foregone conclusions ; its object 
being the " acquisition of knowledge," an acquaintance with 
the vast store of experiences preserved in the terms of language, 
as well as in inferences and reasonings. We enter a world pre- 
occupied with names and ideas with which it is immediately 
necessary to become familiar, and which, being the first, are 
often the sole objects of intellectual training. In this procedure 
the higher ends of education are sacrificed to its elements. We 
are trained to believe and remember rather than to think and 
judge. Words and notions taught authoritatively not only 
belie the progressive character of science and lose its living 
interest, but exercise a pernicious influence over the mind, the 
idea of finality being more calculated to deaden its faculties 
than to improve them. A dogmatical apphcation of science 
encourages a dogmatical religion, both by estranging the 
reUgious sentiment from the natural field for its development, 
and anticipating by ready answers, like the Aristotelian philo- 
sophy in alliance with middle-age theology, the spirit of inde- 
pendent inquiry, which might otherwise have been tempted to 
extend itself to graver subjects. No one attempts to recom- 
mence the task of original observation; nor would it be possible, 
even if desirable, to avoid making use of prior discoveries and 
judgments. Yet artificial teaching may be far from attaining 
what is implied by the terms education and culture ^ unless we 
try to obviate its dangers by adhering as closely as possible to 
the natural method. All knowledge was once experience ; and 
all instruction, or communicated knowledge, requires experience 
to verify and support it. Instruction may direct or complete 

* i. €. tbe ''drawing out/' or "growth" of the Realties. 


experience, but can never entirely supersede it. The lessons 
of nature are from the first required to cooperate with those 
of art, and little information can be gained from artificial 
sources unless illustrated and attested from natural ones. We 
could not learn when to avoid or when to seek the fire if we 
had never felt heat or cold; music cannot be described nor 
colours made comprehensible to the blind. We begin to draw 
inferences from experience long before we learn to employ 
general maxims and language, and, indeed, long before we 
could be safely intrusted with the discretional use of either. 
Axioms, such as those of geometry, are direct appeals to these 
aboriginal experiences, being those easy and obvious inferences 
as to number and space incessantly and unconsciously made, 
which are universally assented to without proof, because the 
proof is already prepared and present. Truth is no more innate 
within the mind than light within the eye ; yet from its in- 
ability to trace the origin of those earliest impressions which by 
long continued and uncontradicted association have been im- 
plicitly received as incontrovertible, the mind hastily assumes 
the basis of its knowledge to be something intuitive or divine, 
a part as it were of itself. Axioms however derive their seem- 
ingly independent reality not from any priority to experience, 
but from the multiplicity and familiarity of the experiences 
supporting them^; and hence the peculiar fitness of arithmetic 
and geometry as elementary exercises of the reasoning powers, 
each step being a process not merely of remembering and 
believing, but of experimenting and judging. The general 
propositions or axioms of the mixed sciences are of a very 
difierent character, the experiences on which they rest being 
remote and complicated, and their truth neither obvious nor 
complete. Such axioms, being nearer to the end than to the 
beginning of science, cannot be abruptly taught without in 
some degree discouraging the reasoning powers of the pupil. 
Here, where from the nature of the case the mind cannot com- 
plete its experiences or insulate its acquisitions so readily as in 

* Mill's Logic, i. 806. Herschers Discourae, p. 95. 


abstract science, there are always wide visionary intervals both 
between the thing and the sensation, and between the sensation 
and the inference, haunted by phantoms requiring examination 
and trial like the spirits of the eastern wizard. Facts, causes, 
and laws can be known only approximatively and provisionally ; 
the aspect of a supposed fact changes when narrowly examined; 
a cause is only a selection or summary more or less accurate of 
attendant phenomenal conditions; and laws are resolvable into 
laws of greater simplicity and generality. Thus the knowledge 
of to-day is unsettled by the discoveries of to-morrow, and to 
the mere gatherer of inferences, ignorant of the processes by 
which they were made as of the qualifications and limits of 
their truth, science as well as religion is but a mysterious 
puzzle, as uninstructive to the intellect as it is unimpressive 
to the sentiments. The changes of language are as unsatis- 
factory and peFplexing as the changes of opinion. An ac- 
quaintance with cotemporary opinions and precision in the 
use of terms are doubtless indispensable as forming part of 
elementary education; yet surely to learn the conventional 
language and notions of the day should not be its final or only 
object. Names are but a provisional tabulation of a provisional 
knowledge; they are the instruments for recording and com- 
municating thoughts, and of arranging and unraveling ex- 
periences. But the learning of words is liable to the same 
abuse as the learning of opinions. We are apt to trust to the 
all-sufficiency of that instrument through which we derive so 
much, and mistake the means for the end, the words for the 
truths. We are in this dilemma with regard to language, that 
we cannot dispense with its forms without having to commence 
the whole work of the intellect afiresh, yet we cannot use them 
without being almost certain to ascribe to them more than their 
real value. The pretensions of language always exceed the 
actual limits of knowledge. Words include not only what we 
know, but what we believe, implying things as well as pheno- 
mena, so that a proposition logically true was easily imagined 
to be true absolutely, without regard to the provisional character 


of all terminology. Clasafioation and all nomenclature being 
a result) not an original source of knowledge, can prove no 
more than is supported by its own basis. Names were given 
long before their extent could be accurately fixed, and hence 
their import is always changing, growing with the growth of 
knowledge, and varying in respect of the attributes and the 
individuals comprised. Language strictly considered is still 
more emphatically an index of our ignorance than of our 
knowledge '. It arches over a fathomless abyss, and if from 
its literal and predicable significancy we subtract its exact 
and legitimate amount of meaning, there remains an inde- 
finite residuum of assumption corresponding to the immen- 
sity of the unexplored region of truth. The page of know- 
ledge as presented in language seems to be filled up and com- 
plete, but when narrowly examined the characters are discovered 
to be cyphers whose ultimate meaning is yet, and perhaps must 
ever continue, a problem. General terms are like algebraical 
symbols of unknown quantities, which from incapacity to 
analyze their elements we allow to stand provisionally as arbi- 
trary tokens without attempting to resolve them into certainty. 
When we say, for instance, that time has ruined a picture, 
or that atmospheric influence has caused disease, we merely 
state a problematical connection between two vague general 
terms, but are still far from a precise statement of the process, 
chemical or physiological, which has actually occurred. Words 
are deceptive in proportion to the extension and generality 
of their meaning; thus, in the quaint language of Bacon ^ 
chalk and mud are comparatively good, earth bad, &c. Deity 
is the last, the most comprehensive and obscure of all gene- 
ralizations, the universal solvent of all problems in the early 
stage of thought, but which in after times is broken into more 
minute specification, and made nominally subordinate to an 
effort at a detailed statement of antecedents and consequences". 
That which nominally explains everything is a real expla- 

' " To gpeak is to begin to err." GK>etlie. Gedichte, p. 75, imp. 8vo. 
' Nov. Org. i. Aph. 60. • Nov. Org. i. Aph. i8. 


nation of nothing. Anaxagoras, therefore, after haTing once 
for all announced the great truth that the order of the uni- 
verse is the work of a supreme mind, is said to have passed 
on to the exclusive consideration of those material causes 
which, more or less accurately stated, form the bulk of human 
science. At first all science appears merged in religion; 
afterwards religion is as it were swallowed up in science. In 
proportion as men become famUiar with the details of causation, 
language ceases to indulge in the vague generalities of religious 
poetry, and is ever more precise and less mystical as knowledge 
becomes more accurate and ftill. Every grade of knowledge 
has its appropriate expression. Thus, what to an oriental 
mystic would be a plague of Egypt, or outpouring of divine 
wrath, gradually assumes the more homely name of a simoom 
or blight, and by a modem naturalist is further particularized as 
a peculiar development of electricity, an attack of animalcules or 
fungi. In both modes of expression a divine mover is equally / 
contemplated; for no one more deeply feels the necessity of an ^ 
intelligent cause than the student of nature, who sees through- ( 
out her empire a code of uniform procedure ascertainable, / 
and therefore dictated by reason. The more this agency is / 
defined and understood, the more is its reality felt, and its / 
wisdom appreciated*. Nay, it may be said that the reli- 
gious sentiment can be matured only through scientific culti- 
vation; since the more we know the more we venerate, and 
the reverence which is the joint result of sentiment and know- 
ledge can alone survive the attacks of change or time, as 
being never chained to an obsolete opinion or an immoral 
practice. The causes of the degeneracy of science have been 
always the same as those which perverted religion. They 
consist in the estrangement of the one £rom the other, and of 
both firom the imderstanding. Science and religion miscarried 
partly through the subjection of the intellect to the senses, 

* Cicero eimmerates among '* probabilia/' or rhetorical clap-traps, the presumed 
ineligion of philosophers ; "eos qui philosophise dent operam non arbitrari deos 
esse.** I>e Invent i. 29. Pro Cluent. 61. N. D. ii. 2. 


partly through the involuntary pride which induced the mind 
to insulate its results and to rely prematurely upon itself. 
The prejudices of the senses and the prejudices of opinion were 
equally unfavourable in both cases. The ancients failed in 
their science because they paid more regard to words and 
notions than to things, and in their reUgion, because they 
believed they had become acquainted with the universal cause 
when they assigned to it an existence and a name, or sought 
an alliance with it in mystical rapture. They either hoped, 
like Moses", to obtain a manifestation of the Deity to the eye, 
or to create an adequate image of him within the bounds of the 
isolated understanding. It was only through the imagination 
that they could hope to pass the interval between earth and 
heaven, for as yet there was no solid pathway for the reason. 
They had a vague feeling that the universe is governed by 
eternal laws of justice'*, but the impression was only a rude 
anticipation of the legitimate discovery, an inference from the 
analogy of human government, and therefore often confounded 
with arbitrary volition or chance, not from an acquaintance with 
the government of nature. Even if they could have been aware 
of the existence of natural law in its true meaning*', they knew 
not how to study or decypher it, so that it was still a mystery, 
inoperative as a guide to deliberate choice and action. The 
Stoical maxim "to live agreeably to nature" was the nearest 
approach of antiquity to a perfect moral code; its defect was 
the impossibility of applying it when the study of nature was 
arrested, and when anticipated notions were assumed as final 

"» Exod. xxiv. 10; xxxiii. 18. 

" oi/(«M«y )/ M^i^ nxMf^iM-ir. Soph. (Ed. T}T. 866. Antig. 455. "The uni- 
verse," Bays Philo, "does not hang on nothing, but on :he eternal lawe of God." 
Pfeif. iii. 90. Mangey. i. 831. **ffMt *• mift Buv r»j amuw, to «;^v^«r«r«f tuu 
/3i/kMM-«r«v t^rfta rttt ix^f." True wisdom, says Heraclitus, is not " much learn- 
ing/' but a knowledge of the " yt^fm hrt lysv/Si^mru ir«yr« )m flr«vrivf.** Diog. 
Laert. ix. 1. 

'^ Even now, the notion of general law is fiEur from being as impressive or perfect 
as it ought to be (Mill's Logic, vol. i. 872; voL ii. 114,) the notion of cause being 
gradually matured into that of law only through a lengthened experience of invariable 
caiiaal successions. 


criteria of truth and right. Visionary theories were thus 

adopted by rival sects, and while each had its element of truth, 

the Stoic erred on one side as much as the Epicurean on the 

other. If nature be a system of regularity and law, we must, 

in order to live agreeably to it, become acquainted with its laws, 

in other words we must gain experience, and that not only in 

the ordinary sense of practical or worldly wisdom, but in its 

methodised form as science; the intellectual part of reUgion 

being only the gaining accurate experiences reduced to general 

principles so as to be readily available, and accompanied by 

such a clear view of the resulting obligations as may insure the 

realization of its lessons. Beligion, including morality^ is 

therefore no more than well directed education; and as the 

basis of all education must be the notion formed respecting the 

sources of knowledge and sanctions of duty, the first great 

education question is the essentially religious one, how or upon 

what principles is the world governed; or rather, is it governed 

upon any principle, since observances of prayer and belief in 

miracle inevitably tend to countenance the idea that the divine / / ,^ 

government is no more than a c apricious ex eroig&^of . grace sdxi ^ ' '' 

favojztL. Every duty once ascertained becomes obviously a ^^k.^^^^ 

religious duty, and the same sacred character appertains to every '-^ ^li r 

process for discovering its criteria with more ease and precision. ^ ' ^^. a ., 

That there should have ever been a doubt about the real evidences / j 

of these criteria can only have resulted from a delusion such 

as that which makes a savage fall down before the block of [ 

his own manipulation. The foundations of the right and good 'M^ 

must be sought for in the legislation of nature, as the limits of ^ 

social propriety are laid down in municipal regulations. Those 

general arrangements which, perceived either in the physical or 

moral world, baffle inquiry into their causes, are provisionally 

assumed as laws of nature, that is, as ultimate expressions of a 

divine volition, conveying to us such a partial knowledge of the 

universal order as may be a sufficient guide in cases beyond the 

reach of instinct The first elements of the task of discovering 

them are easy, but its range is the intellectual business of eter- 

VOL. I. D 


nity. On the preliminary scene of the drama of mental develop- 
ment each individual pursues with more or less aid firom pre- 
ceding experience his appointed task, a humble one perhaps in 
itself, yet glorious when considered as part of an endless career 
of improvement, a contribution to that eternal monument, the 
great wonder of the modem world, which though often exposed 
like those of Babel or Memphis to interruption and dilapidation, 
is unlike them and the philosophical and religious systems of 
which they may be regarded as types, for ever repaired and 
renewed, slowly but surely rising towards the unoflTended 
heavens through the cooperation of diversified tribes and 
tongues. But the work in which philosophy and religion co- 
operate is effectually promoted only when the mind is humble, 
distrustful of itself, and trained in conformity with these con- 
ditions. If it attempts to forestall the industry of future ages 
by premature theories and creeds, to idolize its notions as 
entities, and, whether on scientific or religious grounds, to tfeat 
its acquired experiences as final, its progress is arrested at the 
point where it parted from philosophy, like a degenerate artist 
who unconsciously forsakes nature in the spirit of mannerism 
and self-repetition. All notions are subjective, and between 
human truth and error there is only, strictly speaking, the 
difference of a greater or less degree of subjectivity. The 
more subjective class of ideas belong in the history of the 
mind to what is called the mythic age, but are, in fact, 
abundantly brought forth by the uneducated or ill-educated 
intellect in ell ages. By correcting the inferences of the 
senses by reason, and those of reason by confironting them 
with nature, by distinguishing the knowledge thus obtained 
as containing different degrees of probability or certainty, we 
obtain not indeed that absolute truth which the experience 
of the world has proved to be unattainable, but that know- 
ledge of causes and consequences which conduces to our pre- 
servation and promotes our advancement. Education is the 
formation of the intellectual habits; not by that method which 
ruined the ancient philosophical schools, and which is still 

FAITH. 85 

coantenanced by modem opinion*', "the instilling tniths/' for 
this presumes that we possess troth to an extent transcending 
human capability, but rather training the mind to the disposition 
and ability to seek troth, to acquire that philosophic spirit 
which has been said to be more valuable than any limited 
acquisitions of philosophy, and for this end to be prepared to 
surrender to the spirit of trathfulness whatever acquired in- 
ferences have irom time degenerated into prejudices, and an 
obstinate adherence to which has always been its greatest im- 
pediment. "The most necessary of all roles in the pursuit 
after troth," says Malebranche, "is never to give entire assent 
except to things evident; to admit nothing into the mind as 
truth except that which bears the evidence which this role 
demands." For all attainable troth is alterable and expansive, 
and to pursue it we must be prepared to renounce our " idols" 
or prepossessions, as the apostles renounced occupation and 
kindred, since the mind must be purified before it can be 
enlightened; Sapientia prima est stultiiid caruisse^*. 



Religion and science are inseparable. No object in nature, 
no subject of contemplation, is destitute of a religious tendency 
and meaning. If religion be made to consist only in traditional 
and legendary forms, it is of course as distinguishable from 
science as the Mosaic cosmogony from geology ; but if it be the 
ascensio mentis in Deumperscalascreatarum rerum, the evolv- 
ing the grounds of hope, faith, and duty £rom the known laws of 
our being and the constitution of the universe, Religion may be 
said to include science as its minister, and antiquity, which beheld 
a divinity in all things, erred only in mistaking its intelligible 

" Bishop of St. Asapli't Speecb on Bdocation in Freemaioni' Hall, April, 1847. 
'* Not. Oig. i. Aph. 68. 

D 2 


character, and in making it a mere matter of mystic specu- 
lation. In a more limited sense religion may be contrasted 
with science, as something beyond and above it ; as beginning 
where science ends, and as a guide through the realms of the 
unknown. But the known and the tmknown are intimately 
connected and correlative. A superstructure of faith can be 
securely built only on the foundations of the known. Phi- 
losophy and religion have one common aim ; they are but dif- 
ferent forms of answer to the same great question, that of man 
and his destination. Though differing in name, character, and 
language, their mission is similar, and they grew up under 
varying circumstances to supply the same want. When the 
human understanding was first roused to contemplate the pro- 
blem of its destination, it must have been instantly impressed 
with a sense of its helplessness and incapacity to furnish from 
its own resources a satisfactory solution. The problem must 
have been abandoned in despair if it had not been cleared up by 
the intervention of Heaven. Those consolatory suggestions of 
ever present nature which convey even to the savage a rough 
answer to the great difficulty, together with the most necessary 
elements of religious truth, were hailed on their first announce- 
ment with an avidity proportioned to the want of them, and 
deferentially received and adhered to as divine intimations. The 
growth of philosophy was checked by the premature establish- 
ment of religions. These had grown out of a kind of imperfect 
and unconscious philosophy, and clothed in the poetic language 
of an early age had been reduced to a permanent system of 
dogmas and mythi calculated for a time to amuse and satisfy 
the doubts and aspirations of mankind. But religion divorced 
from philosophy became obsolete and inefficient. The great 
problem of nature recurred, and stronger and more intelligible 
evidence was required to justify the important results which 
religion had anticipated. Philosophy, properly so called, arose 
along with scepticism ; when men were emboldened to appeal 
from authority to reason, to estimate the value of evidence, and 
to analyze the results of experience. There is a virtuous seep- 

FAITH. 37 

ticism as well as a necessary faitb ; doubt, that " best prism of 
the tnith's rays," is a part of true religion as well as of true 
philosophy, and the proudest boast of its modest and patient 
spirit is to be " ever learning," though never indeed arriving at 
(perfect) truth'. The wise of ancient as of modem times 
deeply felt the imperfect character of all merely human know- 
ledge ; they professed to be only as children gathering pebbles 
on the shores of the ocean, to see darkly as through a glass * , 
or vision', or out of the obscurity of a cavern*. But the 
priestly sage was disposed to register his more cherished in- 
ferences of faith and hope in formularies too presumptuously 
rigid to claim for them eternity and infallibility, and so place 
them as supported by superhuman authority aloof and apart 
from all other acquisitions, and from the natural revelation 
out of which they really sprung. Tradition implicitly received 
took away from religion its power of conformity to the progress 
of human wants, and fixed it in a mould both fanatical and 
pedantic'. Philosophy challenged this intellectual thraldom, 
and undertook to achieve for itself upon independent grounds 
a faith more in harmony with knowledge. But its efforts, 
though noble, were to a great extent frustrated by a misconcep- 
tion of its object. A divine and infallible creed could not be 
entirely replaced by the humbler pretensions of a rational one, 
and philosophy was baffled when in its early attempts it aimed 
at that certainty which religion had vainly pledged itself to 
supply. Yet philosophy, though nursed in scepticism, has 
eventually won both a certainty and a faith; a faith in many 
respects more durable than that idly, inherited from tradition. 
The same experience which teaches rational beings to look 
beyond the immediate to the remote, furnishes them with 
grounds of confidence and encouragement for the task. Be- 

' 2 Tim. iu. 7. Comp. Philip, iii. 12. 

* «tt ^m imrHrT^Vy Philo. Mang. ii. 483. 

' Plutarch, IbIb and Otiris, ch. 78. * Plato, Rep. 7. 

* Der kampf des alten, bcstehenden, beharrenden mit entwickelung, aus— und 
ambildang iit immer denelbe; aui aller ordnung ensteht zuletzt pedanterie. Qdethc. 


ligion olaims all the faculties as tributaries, and even the ima- 
gination may under due restrictions help to exalt humanity by 
raising it above the limits of the actual, and by giving a more 
vivid expression to its hopes. Faith is to a great extent invo- 
luntary ; it is a law or faculty of our nature operating silently 
and intuitively to supply the imperfections of knowledge. The 
boundary between faith and knowledge is indeed hard to distin- 
guish. We are said to know (Pai own impressions ; to believe 
in their reality, or in the existence of a substanticd cause of 
them. . It follows that the immediate as well as the more 
remote inferences from phenomena are the blended fruit of 
faith and knowledge ; and that though faith, properly speaking, 
is not knowledge, but the admission of certain inferences be- 
yond knowledge, yet it is almost impossible in tracing back the 
operations of the mind to find any even the most elementary 
inference which is not in some degree a compound of both, and 
which may not ultimately be resolved into a consistent belief in 
the results of experience. Faith being thus the inseparable 
companion and offspring of knowledge, is, like it, liable to 
modification and correction ; that which we call our knowledge 
of the ultimate purpose of existence being in fact only a belief, 
or inference from experience, which would lose its rational 
value * if it were supposed to be so complete and infallible as 
to exempt us from the necessity of frirther reflection. All 
human knowledge must partake of the imperfection of the 
faculties through which it is derived ; and the limited and un- 
satisfactory character of what we know leaves a wide and most 
important void to be filled up by our belief. But the more im- 
perfect our knowledge, the more necessary it becomes to exa- 
mine with suspicion the foundations of the faith so closely 
connected with it. Faith, as opposed to credulity, and to that 
blind submission to inexplicable power which usurped its name 
in the ancient East, is an allegiance of the reason ; and as the 
*' evidence of things unseen '* ^ stands on the verge of mys- 
ticism, its value must depend on the discretion with which it is 

• Rom. yiii. 24. * Hebrews xi. 1. 2 Cor. v. 7. 

FAITH. 39 

formed and used. Like all the other faculties, the belief 
requires to be educated; as the feet are taught to walk, the lips 
and tongue to speak, so the capacity of belief must be taught 
how to build securely, yet not arrogantly, on the data of ex- 
perience. Faith is not that belief of St. Augustine, whose ^^ } - ' 
merit increased with the absurdity of the proposition, nor that . ^ -^^ *^ ^ 
which attributed to the instigation of God the real or projected! q<*^, tk 
murder of an only son. An irrational faith grew out of the * ^t*^ 
opposite irrational extreme of incredulity, when men refused 
to believe the truth unless authenticated by sensuous evidence ^^^^•^'w-^^ 
that confounded their understandings. True faith is a belief 'n. 44i^ ^ 
in things probable; it is the assigning to certain inferences ^ ^ 

a hypothetical objectivity, and upon the conscious acknowledg- 
ment of this hypothetical character alone depends its advantage w^4«/ fKv^ 
over fanaticism, its moral value and dignity. Between the ^^^ ^ / 
opposite risks of credulity and scepticism it must be guided by / 

those broad principles of reason which all the faculties require -^VfC^ ^ 
for their regulation. Beason alone can in each case determine ' / 

where credulity begins, and fix the limit beyond which the/Jy^^^^^ ^^.^ 
mind should cease to assign even a qualified objectivity to its / ^ 
own imaginations. In its advanced stages faith is a legiti-** '-■''•) ^•'* 
mate result of the calculation of probabilities ; it may tran- f^ » 
scend experience, but can never absolutely contradict it. Faith 
and knowledge tend mutually to the confirmation and enlarge- 
ment of each other; faith by verification being often trans- 
formed into knowledge, and every increase of knowledge sup- 
plying a wider and firmer basis of belief. Faith as an in- 
ference from knowledge should be consistently inferred from 
the whole of knowledge ; since when estranged and isolated it 
loses its vitality, and the estrangement is as effectual when jt is 
hastily and unfairly inferred as where it is wholly gratuitous. 
The same experience which is the source of knowledge being 
therefore the only legitimate foundation of faith, a sound faith 
cannot be derived from the anomalous and exceptional. It is 
the avidity for the marvellous, and the morbid eagerness for a 
cheap and easy solution of the mysteries of existence, a solution 


supposed to be implied in the conception of an arbitrary and 
unintelligible rule, which has ever retarded philosophy and 
stultified religion. Faith naturaUy arises out of the regular 
and undcTiating. The same unerring uniformity which alone 
made experience possible, was also the first teacher of the in- 
visible things of God '. It is this 

" Elder Scriptare, writ by God*8 own hand. 
Scripture authentic, uncomipt by man/' 

which is set before every one without note or comment, and 
which even Holy Writ points out as the most unquestion- 
able authority by which both in heaven and earth the will 
of God is interpreted to mankind ^. If man is not permitted 
to solve the problem of existence, he is at least emboldened 
to hope and to infer so much from its actual conditions 
as to feel confident as to its results. Faith takes up the 
problem exactly where knowledge leaves it, and as from 
confounding the objects of the two have arisen the dis- 
cords of sects and the puzzles of philosophy, so the dis- 
covery of their true relations and limits enables the mind to 

" Wisdom, ch. 13. Rom. i. 20. Philo. Mang. ii. 331. ^schyl. Agam. y. 170. 
• Matt. V. 45, 48 ; vi. 26, 28, 80. 

" what voluminous instruction here ! 

Nor is instruction here our only gain — 

There is a noble pathos in the skies 

Which warms our passions, proselytes our hearts. 

How eloquently shines the glowing pole ! 

With what authority it gives its charge, 

Remonstrating great truths in style sublime 

Though silent, loud 

thou great Jove unfeigned, 

Divine instructor! thy first volume this 

For man's perusal ; all in capitals ; 

In moon, and stars — Heaven's golden alphabet — 

Emblaz'd to seize the sight— Who runs may read, 

Who reads may understand. — 'Tis unconfined 

To Christian land or Jewry — fiurly writ 

In language universal to mankind, 

A language worthy the great mind that speaks.'* 

Youwg's ITiffhi Thoughts. 

FAITH. 41 

reconcile and account for the controversies of the past, and 
in some measure to penetrate the mysteries which occasioned 
them. Faith, the necessary evidence of the seen as well as the 
unseen, is the assumed basis of all inferential knowledge, for it 
is the only assurance we have of the reality of the world in 
which we move and live. The external something, whose ex- 
istence we presume but cannot prove as the cause of our sensa- 
tions, is as much an object of faith as the unseen Deity, or as 
the anticipated renewal of our existence. Habitually, but un- 
consciously, we depend on faith in every perception and every 
act, in every inquiry after truth, and every expectation of a 
practical result. Faith, thus essential to material comfort and 
support, is like the pulses of the heart, involuntary and in- 
tuitive. Sut educated in the simplest things, the believing 
faculty becomes in its ulterior development an instrument for 
effecting the highest as well as the most ordinary purposes of 
our being, and opens to every one, as it did to Columbus, 
a new world. Life, intellectually as well as physically, is like 
*' a star hovering on the horizon s verge between night and 
morning ;" and we stand at the parting of the two roads ima- 
gined by the great idealist Parmenides'^ between the ideal and 
the real, the seeming and the true. On one hand is the in- 
fatuation of the senses, leading to uncertainties of. opinion " ; 
on the other, faith secure under the control of reason *^. In 
the progress of thought, as the notional and external becomes 
more and more an object of distrust, the ideal proportionably 
increases in dignity and significance, and we feel through faith 
to belong more to the invisible and future than to the tangible 
and immediate. In the golden age, the two were undistin- 
guished from each other. Evidence was then felt rather than 
understood, and faith almost intuitive; the rationalist and re- 
Ugionist were one :— 

" Alles wies den eingeweihteii blicken 
Alles eines Gottes Spur." 

'** tltt^fuM^nf i fitymt. Plato, Sophista, p. 287 a. 


When the tree of knowledge was separated from the tree of 
life, a dark and forlorn interval succeeded, during which human 
nature underwent long struggles of revolt and disquietude. 
More correct views of our migratory and divided citizenship 
redeem us from this downfall, and restore ' the intellectual 
balance. By faith, the companion of knowledge, the con- 
tradictory tendencies of our twofold nature are explained and 
reconciled. The condition of the world, the purposes of Pro- 
vidence,*are no longer an impenetrable mystery. By faith we 
may be at once idealists and materialists, yet neither sensual 
nor mystical. While we stood upon our mere knowledge, good 
seemed inextricably mixed up with evil, our world disfigured by 
a fall, and even knowledge itself doubtful or impossible ". We 
lived in a world of phantoms, and all existence, even our own, 
might be made problematical. Idealism redeems the imperfec- 
tions of our knowledge through the intervention of belief. By 
faith, or that transcendental view which the spirit of Religion ** 
superadds to science, the distant is brought near, the temporary 
is made continuous, the finite infinite '*. What was relatively 
true is no longer absolutely credible. We see evil, yet beUeve 
in universal good; we see diversity, but believe in unity; we 
are surrounded by change and death, yet cling to the certainty 
of eternal stability and Ufe. 



The limitation of the speculative faculty agrees with man's 
moral nature. He is more practical than speculative; he 

" Ammt $wi mtri Ttrvxreu. 

'* There is, properly speaking, no science of ontology ; ontology is either Faith, or 
nothing. Hence Aristotle justly says that the positions of Farmenides and Melissus 
{4ut^m m%^t mt ^^ttritit ov^utt. Metaph. 3. 8. p. 63) belong more properly to theo- 
logy than to physics. De Ccelo. 3. 1. p. 288. Bek. Metaph. v. i. Karsten's Far- 
menides, p. 198. 

'* This constitutes the mysterious feeling adopted by ancient as by modem reli- 
gious philosophy, that in Gh>d, or the absolute, contraries meet. Aristot de Xenoph. 
Hitter. Tol. i. p. 483. Stobee Eclog. i. 60. 

DUTY. 48 

may exist without reflection, but scarcely without action. 
Prompted to constant activity by his organs and passions, 
he is either blindly led by them, or obtains a control over 
them through his reason. Compared with the uniyerse his 
intellect is disproportionately feeble; its mission is to guide and 
govem the life of the individual. Thought may reach to heaven, 
but its immediate uses are limited to earth; it is the spring of 
action, the inner life of which the records of nations and con- 
duct of individuals are only the outward manifestation. *' Let 
us try to think rightly," says Pascal, '* for this is the foundation 
of morality." Morality is partly in the feelings, partly in the 
reason; the disposition prepared by the one is educated and 
matured by the direction of the other, and the old controversy 
as to whether conscience is natural or acquired may be compro- 
mised by admitting it to be partly both. Duty, or the moral 
rule discovered by the understanding, may be said to imply 
faith, as being that course of action which we believe to be 
conducive to the end of our being. But the performance of it is 
immediately dependent on the accuracy and extent of our know- 
ledge. The tendency of actions for good or evil arises out of 
the relation in which we stand to the visible or invisible world ; 
the sense of obligation and of right arises out of an acquaint- 
ance with that relation, called in the one case knowledge, in the 
other faith. Faith certifies the aim of existence; knowledge 
acquaints us with the laws by conformity with which that aim is 
to be attained. Nature has made a provision for moral self-go- 
vernment in that her authority is not despotic or inscruta- 
ble, but by its precision and uniformity calls forth the exercise of 
deliberate choice, vesting the control of our being in ourselves. It 
is only through nature's invariable regularity, that a line of con- 
duct can be framed agreeable to it. This is duty. But duty is 
means to an end. Every rational being knows that he is formed 
for some end proportioned to his nature; and he therefore be- 
lieves that only those actions and habits which tend to promote 
this end can be called good; that is, suitable to his nature, and 
calculated to promote his happiness. The details of duty depend 


on our multifarious relatioDS to each other, and to the external 
world; and as it appears from experience that all these relations 
are governed hy undeviating laws^ all duty is resolved into 
learning and obeying those laws; the more we know and con- 
form to them, the more effectually do we realize the ends of our 
existence and secure our happiness. Good intention is not 
virtue unless its acts be discreetly conducted in regard to those 
penal consequences which the Deity has attached to the in- 
fringement of his laws, always in such a manner as to point 
significantly to the special breach or error from which they 
result. Hence the intimate dependence of the moral on 
the inteUectual faculty. If the one could ever be perfectly 
educated, and the other, raised above all illiberal selfishness 
and passion, were completely under its control, it would be 
literally true to say that pleasure and pain are the final cri- 
teria of good and evil, since the useful and agreeable are essen- 
tially one, and all vice being either ignorance or temporary for- 
getfulnessS no perfectly sane person ftiUy informed could com- 
mit an immoral act. False action is far more often the firuit 
of false speculation than of evil purpose. The growth of virtue 
is simultaneous with that of wisdom, the performance of the 
good implying a proportionate acquaintance with the true de- 
rivable from comparing the tendencies of man's nature with the 
limitations of his condition. He requires two sorts of knowledge, 
that of his own nature and of external objects. Both being sub- 
ject to determinate laws, their laws may become known, and the 
knowledge, in proportion to its extent and accuracy, is the key 
to every problem of morality and duty. Codes of morality can 
only answer general questions in a general way; for instance, 
they prescribe prudence and temperance, but cannot in parti- 
cular cases anticipate the advice of the lawyer or physician, or 

1 ** Moie eTil is done by miBdiiected than by dishonest views, and the accumu- 
lated mischiefs arising from eiror are of greater prejudice to the adyancement of 
society than those which have their origin in an abandonment of principle." De 
Morgan on ^e Study of Natural Philosophy. Quarterly Journal of Education, 
No. 5. 

DUTY. 45 

dispense with the aids of scientific experience. Much is still 
left to the discretion of the reason, nor can any amount 
or variety of knowledge be superfluous to aid in discerning the 
means of happiness, and in overcoming the proverbial difficulty 
of being good*. But the same reason which is enabled to dis- 
cover the laws and limits of the individual, suggests also the 
conception of a wider end, a less selfish good, to which the aims 
of all individual being are subordinate and subsidiary. Thought 
rises from individual to social law; from particular societies to 
humanity at large; from the laws of man to those of the uni- 
verse. Hence those limitations of individual action called reci- 
procal rights and duties; the same intelligence which prescribes 
the accomplishment of the ends of nature in ourselves teaching 
the duty of respecting the performance of them in others. The 
good is not merely that which is good to us, but that which con- 
duces to the order and happiness of all; for only the uneducated 
feelings are egotistical and individual, the matured conscience 
is impartial and universal. The whole extent of the arrange- 
ments comprising the sources of duty may be regarded as theo- 
retically discoverable, though as yet discovered but partially ; 
each new discovery not only revealing new duties, but investing 
all duty with a new and more expansive character, bringing it 
more and more clearly into harmony with self-interest. The 
supposed identity of duty with self-denial was a result of that 
struggle of the conscience with imperfect knowledge which pro- 
duced the self- mortification of the ascetic. The motives of duty 
are provisionally disinterested, because, though Providence has 
made no chasm between the right and the useful, no real anti- 
thesis between self-love and conscience, their coincidences 
often lie beyond the range of our observation, the intellect 
being as slow to perceive as the passions to acknowledge their 
identity. Duty therefore precedes science, because its intel- 
lectual foundations are matters deep and difficult, and hence 
in the immaturity of the mental powers it is necessary to be 
trained to the habit of complying with what anterior experience 

^ Simonidis frag. 139. 


has proved to be true and right before we can become capable 
of judging impartially between the reason and the passions. 
Yet again it may be said that the intellect is master and leader 
of the conscience, since it discovers rules which the conscience 
must obey; and that even when performing its task imperfectly, 
intelligence alone makes the distinction between childish ser- 
vility and manly principle. Of all creation man alone has the 
privilege of self-examination; of knowing in some measure the 
purposes of his being, and of calculating the means adapted to 
promote them. Matter fulfils its peurt with mechanical exacti- 
tude, its punctuality being the result of external wisdom. As 
we ascend the scale, enfranchisement accompanies the increasing 
capacity of knowledge, and the animal exercises both will and 
discernment in the gratification of its wants. In this instance, 
however, volition is still almost exclusively bound to intuitive 
emotions of pleasure and pain, indicating to the sentient but un- 
reflecting agent what it should prefer or avoid, what is evil or good 
to it. To rational beings alone pleasure and pain in the ordinary 
sense are rarely the sole criteria of good and evil. In addition 
to those indications which operating inevitably and uncon- 
sciously still remain in many cases indispensable for safety, in- 
telligent beings are enabled to know their relations and destina- 
tion, and from this higher view to judge of things not merely 
as agreeable or painAil, but as facilities or hindrances; and the 
self-conscious reason manifested in man may aspire to imitate the 
exactitude with which inferior creatures unconsciously obey the 
wisdom and will of their Maker. But greater freedom involves 
greater responsibility. To education is committed the weighty 
task of rearing the faculty which the Deity has separated fix)m 
himself, and challenged to a reverential yet honourable compe- 
tition ; of bringing to light those laws which when known to 
involve the conditions of happiness imply corresponding duties, 
and of disciplining the will to conform to the obligations so dis- 

Virtue is said to be acquired when this practical conformity 
has become habitual by repetition, but since all human practice 


18 infirm and all knowledge defecUve, we endeavour to fortify 
the perceptions we possess of our true interests by recurring to 
the maxims of antiquity, the hoarded experience of the world, 
which like the tuition of a parent speaks to the ignorant and 
helpless with authority, or, as it were, with the power of inspira- 
tion. " There is no attribute which men more gladly recognise 
in the teacher to whom they resort than that of infallibility; 
and in proportion to the importance of the truths sought for, 
and the supposed difficulty of ascertaining them, is the readiness 
of ordinary minds to recognise the existence of that attribute 
in one who claims a prerogative which the supreme Author and 
source of truth has not seen fit to delegate to any mortal being, 
that of finally and peremptorily deciding all controversy."' 
But the office which the Almighty has not thought fit to de- 
legate to another is efiectually exercised by himself. In the 
unwritten law of nature he has provided a code corresponding in 
perfection with his own perfect knowledge, written in a universal 
language, and guarding against every contingency. 

§ 10. 


The exercise of faith and the fulfilment of duty both assume 
the combined operation of the faculties. Between faith and 
duty, between a bare assent and a willing conformity in practice 
lies the powerM machinery of sentiment; the true and the 
right must be felt as well as known; we must not only distin- 
guish but love them. Love is the most concise and expressive 
name for the spur to virtuous action, the force necessary to 
make the conclusions of the understanding practically effective 
in the resolutions of the will. Religion exists only when it in- 
fluences the whole mind, when the sentiments adopt that attach- 
ment to the good which is love's most exalted form, and 
attended with its most lasting pleasure. Hence the Flatonist 
as well as the Christian sum up the whole of human duty in 

^ Bishop of London's Chatge, October 19, 1846. 


this one comprehensive term of love, as implying the practical 
fulfilment of all law, human and divine. A tendency towards 
the beautiful and good is learned intuitively — 

'' By sound diiliised, or by the breathing air, 
Or by the silent looks of happy things" — 

the infant unconsciously imbibes this pure feeling from the 
glory and beauty of external nature*, or from the moral charm 
of parental tenderness. Instructed, the feeling becomes a 
principle; and as the sphere of observation is extended, the 
abundant display of beauty and beneficence indefinitely mul- 
tiplies the occasions for its exercise. Nature is discovered 
to be a legislation of love; a willing obedience to which is 
the most perfect freedom, because its restraints are only the 
necessary conditions of happiness and even of existence. 
Nature seemed at first ** unfeeling and coldly impartial; since 
the sun shines on the bad as on the good, and to the trans- 
gressor as well as for the just sparkle the moon and stars*." 
But the same confidence and love which children learn to feel 
for the comparatively feeble and capricious rule of a human 
being, is transferred by the matured reason to the conception of 
a parent unchanging and universal, whose government being 
unerring and complete, is at once a system of unalterable law, 
and of unalterable love. Once convinced of the completeness 
of the system, and of its perfect adaptation to produce general 
happiness, the mind recognises in its severe and uncompromising 
discipline the crowning proof of the beneficence of its author, 
and no longer shrinks from the word "necessity" to the nearer 
sympathies of a humanized Deity, since the human is synony- 
mous with the imperfect, and necessity is only another name for 
universal undeviating love. But this combination of kindness 
with inflexibility constituting the essential perfection of con- 

* Dieu s'y peint mieux que dans les lignes d'un catechisme : il s'y peint en traits 
dignes de lui ; la souTerain beante, rimmense bont^. d'une nature accomplie, le r6- 
v^lent, tcl qu il est, k Tame de I'enfiint ; cette beaute physique et materielle se tradnit 
pour elle en sentiment de beaut^ morale. Lamartine, Voyage en Orient. 

* GNiethe. 


stancy and trath, can be appreciated only by intellectaal cnlti- 
yadon, through which alone man becomes capable of respond- 
ing to the sublime love of the uniyerse*. It is this which ex- 
hibits to the religious sentiment the immortal spirit of bar* 
mony and good which it discovers through all existence, ad- 
mitting no miracle or even apparent self-contradiction except 
the wonderful power of healing and salvation, which turns 
even vices and deformities into instruments of beneficent de- 
sign, reconciling all things to itself. Love thus generalised 
is the effectual completion of faith and knowledge; for we 
believe implicitly only where we love ; we love truly only that 
which we know"; and when it was said that the performance 
of the right follows the perception of the true, the sentiment 
of love, or the perception of the beauty of truth must be 
superadded to the idea in order to make it unconditional and 
incontrovertible. Love is the last stage in man's religious 
progress; early taught to feel supreme power, he gradually 
learns to appreciate its associated wisdom, and lastly the uni- 
verse assumes to him the diviner aspect of love, satisfying 
every demand of his complicated faculties, and calling forth 
in his conduct an imitation of the pattern exemplified in nature. 
." The great secret of morals is love'^; a going out of our own 
being, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful 
which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own." The 
great moral teachers and criteria, pleasure and pain, are but 
a lesson of selfishness to the cold and individualising spirit, 
until through sympathy and love their suggestions are exalted 
and dignified. Our neighbour then becomes as part of our- 
selves; the relations of family, fiiendship, citizenship, indefi- 
nitely multiply the susceptibilities of the individual, until the 
widening sphere of benevolence connects not only man with 
man, but man with the universe. The animate and inani- 

* To the uneducated all law appears arbitrary authority. 
■ 1 John iv. 20. ' Shelley. 

VOL. I. E 


mate, though with diyerBity of gifts, are members of the same 
spirit — 

" The ineffiible, all-pervading mind. 
Fixed in the secret web of hannony/'* 

whose love mingles with every maDifestation of power, and 
whose very penal arrangements are beneficent*. The love of 
Ood, widely different from the mimicry of fanaticism, is a phrase 
little understood. It may be felt in nature's poetry, but cannot 
be fully developed except through the rational solution of her 
problems; it tasks the intellectual as well as the moral faculty, 
comprising the true as well as the good in its estimate of the 
beautiful, and fed by every thrill of pleasure felt in the pursuit 
of knowledge, as by every new perception of the love external to 
it. " Love," said Empedocles, " is not discoverable by the eye, 
but only by intellect; its elements are indeed innate in our mortal 
constitution, and we give it the names of Joy and Aphrodite, but 
in its highest universality no mortal hath ftdly comprehended 
it." '• Many have loved a principle, and laid down their lives 
for what they believed to be true. Nature herself, whose adorn- 
ment is only an accessory, a perfection more admirable because 
apparently unstudied and collateral, seems to invite admiration 
to the superior beauty of usefulness and truth. Yet so power- 
ful is the dominion of the senses, that it is only by metaphor 
that the term love is applied tQ intellectual contemplation; and 
Plato complains of the narrow conventionality which limits the 
term best expressing the pursuit of all that is beautiful and ex- 
cellent to one only, and that not the most elevated among 'its 
manifestations. The conception of love of God implies that 
which is attainable by man only in a limited degree. Universal 
sympathy supposes universal knowledge, a perfect acquaintance 
with all beauty discoverable either by the eye or intellect. Per- 
fect intellectual sympathy presumes identification, or at least so 

" Kanten's Empedocles, ▼. 60. Tenneman. Hist. L 260. 

• Dante, Inferno, cant iii. 6. >• Karsten's Bmped. v. 110. 


close and intimate a relation with the uniyersal reason as to be 
g^ded by it in every thought, word, and action ; it amounts in 
short to that inspiration" or mental absorption contemplated «s 
possible only by the Eastern mystic. Plato, whose mysticism, 
however lofty, is never irrational, points out» though perhaps in 
too sanguine terms ^^ the path which must be trod in order to 
reach these lofty regions of intellectual sympathy, of which 
earthly love is but a childish anticipation, or a feeble and fleetr 
ing symbol. The first steps are described as the engendering 
of beautiful thoughts in communion with fair and congenial 
minds; at first, in fixing the attention and affections on one 
beautiful object; then, comparing this with others, in observing 
how under all forms beauty is every where beauty's brother, and 
so rising from the contemplation of particulars to the idea of 
beauty generally. The pupil then, no longer superstitiously 
devoted to a single object, becomes a lover of all forms that are 
beautiful, yet. not so much of forms, for he especially learns to 
set mental far above physical beauty, and to appreciate the con- 
formity of the beautiftil in moral and civil duties with the capa- 
cities and consequent obligations of his own nature. He is 
then initiated in science, so as to understand the loveliness of 
wisdom ; and having been already taught to generalize his love, 
and to extend it beyond the limits of a single attraction, he 
aspires even at the outset to the contemplation of a beauty more 
large and miyestic than any contained within any one isolated 
pursuit, and, '' launching boldly on the wide ocean of beauty, he 
brings forth in proiusion the lovely and lofty conceptions of 
philosophy ; until, strengthened and confirmed, he learns to con- 
template one only science, which is that of this universal beauty." 
'* He who has been educated to this point in love by the due 
and progressive contemplation of the beautiftd now arriving to- 
wards the completion of his task on a sudden beholds a beauty 

" The •elf-sufficiiig contemplation independent of action or desire for reward, in 
the Bagrat Qeeta, p. 40, the point where deliberate choice seems to be enpeneded, 
aadi to merge in an tmenuig inatinct. 

" Synvoa. 210 B. 

E 2 


wonderful in its nature, the same for whose sake all these toils 
have been endured, a something eternal, unproduced and inde- 
structible, neither growing nor decaying; not like other things 
partly beautifiil and partly deformed, or at one time beaudftil, at 
another not; not beautiful in relation to one thing, and de- 
formed in relation to another; nor shaped to the imagination as 
a fair face or figure, nor like any portion of the body, nor like 
any one discourse or science. Nor does it subsist in any other 
thing that lives, nor is it in earth, or heaven, but it is eternally 
unique and self-subsistent, and monogeneous with itself. All 
other things are beautiful by participation with it, with this differ- 
ence, that they all are liable to be produced and to decay, but this 
never becomes either more or less, nor suffers any change. He 
who ascending from a correct system of love begins to contem- 
plate this supreme beauty has nearly reached the consummation 
of his labour. For this is the true course of love, that, beginning 
with those transitory objects which are beautiful, we ever ascend 
towards that which is beauty itself, rising as it were by progres- 
sive steps from the love of one form to that of two, and at 
length of all forms that are beautiful; from beautiful forms to 
beautiful habits and duties; from beautiful practice to beautiful 
doctrines and contemplations; until from the meditation and 
comparison of many doctrines we arrive at last at that which is 
nothing else than the doctrine of the supreme beauty itself, in 
the knowledge and contemplation of which we may at length 

" Such a life as this," continues the dialogue, '' spent in the 
contemplation of the beautiful, is the life for men to live ; '* it 
is what by Plato would be called the philosophic, by us the re- 
ligious life. There is much in the description that may appear 
at first sight overstrained and rhapsodical. It might be ob- 
jected that the life of man is essentially active, not contempla- 
tive; and that the finality, the knowledge, and the repose, pre- 
sumed to be the completion of the course marked out by Plato, 
are not within the reach of man in this stage of his existence. 
But these objections are anticipated. The connection between 


knowledge and practice^ between the moral and intellectual 
faculties, are nowhere more insisted on than among the Socra- 
tists. It is true that the pleasures and advantages of science 
might have been explained in simpler language, and it is equally 
clear that the assumed apprehension of the supreme " monoedic " 
beauty being confessedly incapable of full realisation on earth 
may be looked on as a mere metaphysical chimeera. However, 
neither Plato nor his master professed to have reached this pin- 
nacle of truth; on the contrary, in the midst of the struggles of 
dialectics their boast was in the consciousness of ignorance, in 
the absence of vain pretension, and in ascertaining the limits of 
certainty rather than assuming the possession of it*'. But to 
doubt the possibility of certainty, to reject the existence of one 
all-comprehending science merely because human studies are 
partial and limited ^\ would amount to a far greater absurdity, to 
no less than an intellectual atheism, an abdication both of reli- 
gion and philosophy. Thought can be reached only by thought ; 
and human thought can communicate with the universal thought 
only through a knowledge of the laws often seen and always 
presumed to be acting connectedly in whose uniform tenor it is 
expressed. This is the highest generalisation at present within 
our reach : yet, if for the right direction of science it is fit we 
should know its limits, considerations of even higher moment 
require us to believe that there must be a knowledge, though 
for the present an inaccessible one, beyond those limits, a master 
science or true philosophy realising the visions of Plato, and 
which may one day enable us to know as we are known. 

'* Xenopb. Mem. 8, 9, 6. Plato, Apol. 21. 
" Conf. Ariftot Bth. N. 1, 8, ad fin. 


SiixMg 1^ iX»M tiittfthr kfta^ trnm^rm, 

Apolloh. Bhod. Argon, i. 494. 

** dtbcr ^^ ent^dlt me^cc ttnb }tti9cilm fi^ wibetfpvtc^cnbc ^^itofop^t il6tr Sto^- 
mogontcr un^ e^wtc^c^cn fo imm6fiU(^ ftc)n ttttinm, aM bit oct^obo/c 9Xeiiiuti0 
^ctatt«}uiinbni# weil fpfircc^in tit ^^ilofop^cn in i^rcit Vnfi^tcii bcbeutenb abmel(^R/ 
ftlbft wo fie oaf bie ^iltgen 93fi<^c auibrfi^t^ 114 bcmfhi/ unb mirb<c bit unj&^Uoen ^« 
tottog etiic ciaeiM ^c^bpfunglfagf on bet Gpiiat ^abm mfigcR/ wcnii fie auf ben dlamm 
dnf< ^ucona 9nfpnt(^ mad^n woUen.'' 

YoH BoHLnr, Dm alte Indien, toI. l 158. 




The earliest exhibition of the religious sentiment arising out 
of the action of the external world upon the mind has been 
said to be allied to fear. " The fear of the Lord is the be- 
gixming of wisdom;"* for a vague superstitious awe is the 
impression which external power is at first most likely to pro- 
duce npon a mind unable fully to understand its operations ^. 
Fear is as inevitable in the religion of the ignorant as force in 
the government of the savage. It was probably through the 
influence of this feeling that superior intellect first succeeded 
in gaining a moral power and in interrupting the wild equality 
of nature. They whose powers appeared to transcend those of 
other men^ and who by greater familiarity with physical agents 
were really able to form more distinct conceptions respecting 
them, to give them names ^, and even to affect an authority to 
interpret or control them, naturally became invested with a 
share of the superstitious reverence paid to the mysterious 
objects of their worship. Such was the divine authority ori- 

' ProT. i. 7. Gen. zxxL 58. Statius, Theb. iii. 661. Not that the religions sen- 
timent it fear only ; it is rather that general sense of limitation and dependence 
which under different circumstances may produce many varieties of feeling. Cpmp. 
Jeram. x. 2. 

* Yiig. Qeoig. iL 491, and parallels in Lucretius. 

' Hend. ii. 52. Diod. S. ii. 40. 


ginally ascribed to priests and prophets. These first ministers 
of Beligion derived their knowledge immediately from Heaven, 
or from nature ^ ; their skill in art was magic ; their poetry and 
music inspiration *. They were the privileged expositors of the 
so-called "Word of God," personified as "the first-bom of 
Heaven" in the Persian Horn, or the Egyptian Thoth, and 
transmitted like Agamemnon's sceptre from age to age un- 
changed. They alone were able to bind or influence the Pro- 
tean changes of nature; to exorcise Leviathan^, to control 
fate^, and to read futurity*. The whole universe seemed to 
them one living revelation. They discovered wisdom in stones 
and trees ^ in fowls and fishes '^. The authority thus obtained 
united the office of king with that of priest ; it was a divine 
commission, its regulations being a transcript of the will of 
God as manifested in heaven ". The processes of agriculture 
and the first institutions of civilization depend on the heavenly 
luminaries'*, and on physical conditions. Thus were the first 
laws written by the finger of God in the firmament, on the 
heavenly Meru or Olympus, in unmistakeable characters of 
light, and the second promulgation of the law was in analogy 
with the first, when Zoroaster received from heaven the gift of 
fire " and the word of life, or when Sinai, like Olympus, trem- 
bled and smoked during the communication of the statutes and 
judgments of the Almighty. The Sun, " the Brazen Watch- 
man of Crete," vigilantly upheld the laws revealed by Jupiter 
to Minos ^* ; and the bull, at once an emblem of physical and 
social existence, the leader of earthly institutions as of the 
heavenly constellations, surrendered its prerogative only when 

* eirfMTM •« fwf. Iliad, t. 64. 
^ niad, i. 70. Henod, Th. 81. 

* Job iii. 8. ib. Hizig. ' Numb. xzii. 5. 

" 1 Sam. ix. 9. Conf. Exod. vii. 11. <" PUto, Phaxlr. 275 b. 

'• Job xii. 7, 8. 

" Creuacr, Symb. i. 36 ; ii. 12, 104, seq. ; iv. 871. Gen. i 14. Job xxxviii. 38. 
Jerem. xxxi. 35 ; xxxiii. 25. 

'^ Virg. Georg. i. 5. '^ Grcigniant, Rcl. i. 817. 

'♦ Plato, Minos, 819, 320. Creuz. S. i. 40. 


superseded by an equally famous legislator in the person of the 
Atlienian Theseus **. 

"The dawn of learning/' says Sir John Malcolm'", "has 
almost always been confined to those who, being intrusted with 
the care of sacred ceremonies, have devoted their exclusive 
knowledge to the exaltation and support of their religion." In 
early ages all contemplation was religious ; there was no dis- 
tinction between the secular and sacred; the whole universe 
was divine, and it was this divine problem which the sages of 
antiquity undertook to expound. They devoted themselves to 
its interpretation with the rashness of an inexperienced sketcher 
who attempts to unite in one grand composition all the features 
of earth and sky before he has properly mastered the rudi- 
mentary details of his art. They professed to survey nature 
with the watchfulness of the dog-star ", with the penetrating 
glance of Lynceus, or Atlas, who saw down into the ocean 
depths*'. There was then no distinct astronomy^ theology, 
history, &c. ; there was but the one mental exercise, whose re- 
sults were called "Wisdom." This primeval wisdom was of 
the same comprehensive character as that ascribed to Solomon. 
It was an intimacy with nature, an association of the derivative 
spirit with its author, that which personified might be said to 
have dwelt alone with him before the creation ' . Its preten- 
sions were therefore as universal as its source. The priestly 
astronomers of Egypt were also legislators and judges, scribes 
and historians. They taught men and kings the first lessons 
of agriculture *^ ; they were physicians of the body as well as 
of the soul '' ; masters of the hydraulic art which irrigated the 
valley of the Nile by means of waterworks and canals ; and 

>» IHod. S. i. 94. Jobos'b Worlu, vii. 81. Zoega, ObeliBc. p. 11. iBlian, N. A. 
xi. 10, 11. 

>• Hut. Pewia, i. 181. « " Creuz. Sym. ii. 104. 

" Horn. Od. i. 62. Virg. ^neid, i. 741. " Prov. viii. 22. 

M Oomp. Eccli^B. yii 15. Diod. S. i. 14. 
'> Creos. 8. ii. 13. Herod, li. 84. 


they were famous architects as shown by the enduring charac- 
ter of their works. The letters invented by Mercury, and the 
music taught by Apollo, were but the analogies and harmonies 
of nature interpreted by the priests, who, pretending to super- 
natural authority, assumed an unbounded control over their 
countrymen, and comprised within the circle of religious regu- 
lations the minutest details of their customs and conduct **. 

Science and art under religious patronage were unfruitful and 
unprogressive. " The guardians of infant science on the banks 
of the Ganges, the Euphrates, or the Nile, rendered it venerable 
in the eyes of their untutored cotemporaries by combining it 
with rehgion ; but they at the same time enslaved it to their 
own superstitions, and for ever stopped its progress at the 
point where it was bound to opinions held sacred and im- 
mutable."*' Art was checked by the arrest of science, by that 
horror of innovation which is still seen in the rigid forms of 
an Egyptian statue ; all the energies of mind were exhausted ^ 
in the pursuit of those mystical analogies and religious 
symbols which form the puerile and often unintelligible subject 
of the regulations of oriental lawgivers, such as the hooks and 
pillars of the tabernacle, the distinctions of clean and unclean, 
the sin of interrupting a cow while drinking, or that of a stu- 
dent in theology carrying a watering-pot '*. These technicali- 
ties were treasured up in the exclusive spirit of the adept. From 
the excessively religious Egyptians '* Herodotus could get no 
authentic information as to the sources or rising of the Nile '^ ; 
the object of the priests seemed to be to withhold information 

» Conf. Herod, i. 46; ii. 29. 

^ Sir J. Mackintosh, Ed. Review, vol. xzxvi. p. 221. Penny Magazine, art. 
Sculpture. Plato, Laws, ii. 656. " n«^« r«vr« «v» i^nv «vri ^my^ji^ts our ^xx^tg 
if 01 f;^nfimra »mi iwt* 'ttrra •«ri^«^«yr«i tuttwrtfun •!;)*, fir/tMiy «XX* «rT« n ta 

^ Menu. 4, 12, 88, 59. A singular examfle of ^'Wisdom" is given in Revel, 
xiii. 18, founded on the Rahbinical figure " (^ematria." 

^ ei«^i/3iff irifitf^rivf. Herod, iii. 37. Lucian de Imag. 27. 
^ Herod, ii. 28, 29. 


rather than to communicate it ; the sacred legends were told 
without attempt at explanation'^, and he who self-instructed 
was ahle to divine their enigmas was directed strictly to reserve 
his knowledge to himself. Priestcraft or "wisdom" partook 
of the hahituaUy jealous character of early empirical art, guard- 
ing its results in the same spirit of selfish cunning with which 
they seemed to have been wrung in association with the ele- 
mentary conveniences of life from a grudging nature '*. Yet 
this reserve was as much the inseparable condition of theology 
as the deliberate artifice of its authors. It is impossible for the 
illiterate to grasp a vague and illimitable mystery, or to be 
suddenly initiated into an unexplored range of speculation. 
The sacred legends were then, as now, simply narrated ; they 
were often probably understood little better by the officiating 
priest than by the vulgar ; and though like nature, from wliich 
they were derived, they were rich in meaning, the meaning in 
* both cases was too undefined and extensive to be easily taught; 
every one had to search and learn it for himself. 



Nature's original lessons are conveyed through the medium 
of visible imagery, and their utterance, though without sound 
or language \ has the advantage of being universally intelligible. 
Poetry, therefore, or the articulate expression of this silent but 
universal symbolism, was accounted the language of the gods, 
and of divinely inspired men. The ancient bards, such as 
Thamyris, Tiresias, or Homer, though blind as to outward sense, 

^ Ideler Hand-buch, i. 188. Herod, ii. 19, 130. Lobeck, Aglaoph. 144. 
" Macrob. Sat. 1, 7, p. 236.' Zeun. Pint de Horn. Poes. cb. 92, p. 11 81. Strabo, 
X. 476. " i »(if^if fif U^mt rtftf9Mt r« 4%uf fiifuufum rw p»m aurw ^$vy»wtt9 

^ Comp. ProT. xzv. 2 ; Isaiab xlv. 15. Hesiod's Work», 42. 
' Psalm six. 2. Lengerke, Psalmen, vol. i. p. 101. 



were full of eyes within*; ActsBon-like they "had gazed on 
nature's naked loveliness/' and the words they uttered were not 
their own, hut that of the divine spirit within them '. To the 
poet-priests of nature, represented by names like Orpheus or 
Eumolpus, were ascribed the first religious establishments as 
well as the first poetical compositions^. 

" Dictffi per cannina Bortes 

Et vitn monstrata tU est" ' 

But the earliest poetry was not a contrivance purposely planned 
to win the savage to civilization; it was the wild and spon- 
taneous growth of natural enthusiasm. It was not a preme- 
ditated art or ornamental refinement, but an indispensable want, 
a necessary medium for the communication of ideas; it was not 
a device deliberately adopted to interpret impressions, but a 
revelation unconsciously excited in the mind and communicated 
to the tongue by the feelings. It was no exclusive invention 
of the individual, but the utterance of those common thoughts 
suggested more or less distinctly to every mind by nature, 
whose inspired authenticity was stamped by the universal echo 
of assent they met with when clothed in shape or sound. The 
inspiration of antiquity, and the poetical imagery which flowed 
from it were not understood figuratively, but felt literally ; and 
in this superhuman view of their nature were implied both the 
absence of deliberate invention, and the truth and unconscious 
fidelity of their expression. The development of psychology has 
never entirely banished the belief in realism and intuitions; 
and if to a mind like that of Plato the results of combination 
and comparison appeared as celestial emanations, no wonder 
that, when the natural and mental laws were wholly unobserved, 
the first revelations of intellect should appear not only true but 
miraculous. All men can in some measure feel, but few can 
understand, still fewer express*. The work of poetical im- 

' Horn. Odyts. viii. 64 ; x. 498. 

'-^ Hes. Tb. 31. Odyss. xxiL 347. Coinp. Luke xii. 12. 1 Cor. xii. 10. 

* PauB. ii. 30 ; iii. 13. Photii Bibl, p. 461. 

^ Kp. ad Pison. 403. * i. e. more thaii the simpleBt propotitiona. 


agination at first appears as a new creation^ ; yet, in reality, it is 
only an effort of observation, combination, and comparison, 
which, though seemingly more or less confined to indiyiduals, is 
in some measure vagnely anticipated by all. Hypothetically, 
therefore, we attribute the origin of religious poetry and sym- 
bolism to distinguished men only, because it is matter of common 
experience that to bring forth into light the thoughts which 
before lay hid and unfashioned in the human breast belongs 
only to genius. It was the privilege of the inspired few to 
utter what had been secretly felt by many, and to be the medium 
to clothe in sound and language what was henceforth to be 
undoubtingly accepted as '' divine truth." * The character of 
these utterances, as well as the mode or form of communicating 
them, must of course have depended on the standard of co- 
temporary feeling and knowledge. Poetry then performed the 
office afterwards assumed by philosophy of interpreting man to 
himself; of making him more intimately acquainted with his 
own perceptions. Fig^ative language was the most natural 
expression of the enthusiasm of the bard, and the most intel- 
ligible to the people. It would seem as if the first teachers of 
mankind had borrowed the method of instruction observed in 
nature, which addresses the eye rather than the ear, and com- 
prises an endless store of pregnant hieroglyphics. These lessons 
of the olden time were the riddles of the Sphynx, tempting the 
curious by their quaintness, but involving the personal risk of 
the adventurous interpreter^ ''The gods themselves," it was 
said, ^' disclose their intentions to the wise, but to fools their 
teaching is unintelligible ;" and the £ing of the Delphic oracle 
was said not to declare, nor on the other hand to conceal, but 
emphatically ''intimate or signify."" The ancient sages, both 
Barbarian and Greek, involved their meaning in similar in- 
directions and enigmas"; their lessons were conveyed either in 

^ TlMnrif. " Comp. 2 Sam. xti. 23. 

» Apollod. 3, 5, 8. '• Plutarch, Pyth. Orw:. ch. 21, 25. 

" Pansan. viii. 8. ClemenB Alex. Strom, p. 658, 680, 787. StobcC. Eel. Phys. 
030. Olympiodonis, Creuz. p. 9. 


visible symbols", or in tbose " parables and dark sayings of old** 
which the Israelites considered it a sacred duty to hand down 
unchanged to successive generations". The explanatory tokens 
employed by man, whether emblematical objects or actions**, 
were like the mystic signs and portents either in dreams or by 
the wayside" supposed to be significant of the intentions of 
the gods; both required the aid of anxious thought and skilful 
interpretation". Even kings and heroes thought it no degra- 
dation to propound or interpret a riddle"; for it was only 
through a correct appreciation of the analogous problems of 
nature that the will of Heaven could be understood by the 
diviner, or the lessons of wisdom become manifest to the sage. 
Symbols are either oral or demonstrative; they may address 
either the ear or eye; but the use of words and letters as con- 
ventional exponents of thought was anticipated by a class of 
signs more universally current; and the former, long after their 
first introduction, were employed only as accessory explanations 
of the act or image, just as in modem English law the inden- 
ture was in its origin subordinate and supplementary to the 
formal act of delivery". The commonest actions and afl&rma- 
tions were enforced by an appeal to that natural somatology " 
which like the rain-drop reflecting the light of heaven"* transfers 
ideas powerfully and instantaneously from mind to mind, and 
is more forcible, though less flexible, than the mechanism of 
language. The air, the ettrthquake, the fire, the lights of 
heaven, or the instinct of animals, had each of them some 
peculiar quality mysteriously significant of Deity; and when the 

" T« atf4nT» rif mutatv fuft/nfuurm. Iambi. MyBt. vii. 1. 0«»Mivr« 0vnT§t^tf 
Pind. 01. ii. 162. 

" Paalm Ixxviii. 2, 6. Deut. vi. 7, 20 ; xi. 19. 

" Herod, iu. 21 ; iv. 181. 

** Gen. xli. ^scliyl. Prom. 496, Bloom. Iliad, viii. 247. 

»• Pind. 01. ii. 153. Herod. I 78 ; iv. 132. Plut. Ins and Osiris, ch. 8. 

" Joseph. A. 8, 5, 8. Psalm Uxviii. 2. Judges xir. 14. 

'■ Conf. Gen. xv. 8. Livy, i. 24, 32. Herod, iv. 131. 

'• Iliad, i. 284. Herod, i. 166; vi. 37. 

* Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, ch. 20, 74. 


priest first set up a carved image for a god^ he did not imagine, 
any more than the German philosopher, that he was creating 
the Creator; he attempted only to give fixation and currency 
to the expression of an idea in the form most easily compre- 
hensible. There was a wide interval between the use of a 
metaphorical symbolism, and the formation of an abstract 
theology. The intermediate space in the history of intellectual 
development is occupied by mythology. This venerable de- 
pository of the oldest thoughts'** arose when fact and opinion 
were wholly unsevered ; when notions assumed unquestioned the 
disguise of existences and deeds, and when all abstract specula- 
tion fell naturally into the form of narrative. The irresistible 
propensity of the mind when unchecked by experience to believe 
its own prepossessions was wantonly developed into a luxuriant 
growth of sayings and stories'^, not, Uke our own popular legend, 
subordinate to an educated and more accurate mode of thinking, 
but comprising, under the form of religion, the whole amount 
of cotemporary knowledge and civilization. Mythological lore 
might consist either of sacred commentaries, "icfoi >.oyoi," ex- 
planatory of established symbols, or of independent traditions 
embodying physical or moral speculation, in which the elements 
or planets were the actors, and the creation and revolutions of 
the world were intermingled with recollections of ancient events. 
Nature became her own expositor through the medium of an 
arbitrary symbolical construction, and every fanciful view of the 
relation between the human and divine received a dramatic 
form. Mythus, or narrative symbolism, grew up concurrendy 
with that personifying tendency which in religion produced a 
pantheon, and in language impressed upon the signs for 
inanimate objects the distinctions of sex. Philosophy was 
the reversal of this process; it stripped conceptions of their 
dramatic personality, and often proceeded to question and deny 
their speculative truth. But as it is proverbially difficult to 

** Tacit. Germ. 2. Flat Ins and Osiris, ch. 20. 
^ kti^rmf wmAMutt fumt. Find. 01. vii. 54. 

VOL. I. F 


state a fact without some admixture of opinion^ or to prevent 
the mind from anticipating inferences, the first philosophy was 
itself mythical, differing from what it superseded only by 
being less intolerant and superstitious. Mythology was an 
imperfect philosophy, though directly opposed to the true 
philosophic spirit, which is erer tending to contract the sphere 
of mythus by recurring to experience. True mythus could 
flourish only when there was no true philosophy. It was also 
anterior to art ; for art implies a premeditation unknown to the 
first unconscious expression of the feelings. The poetry of 
art often adopted materials supplied by the earlier poetry of 
nature ''; but it could not itself have originated them, nor could 
conscious art have ever created objects of religious veneration. 
The divinity of Homer s Jove was accepted, not as the mere 
creation of the poet, but as a revelation made to him from 
above ; and the innovations in sculpture, which the public taste 
from time to time required, were admitted by the religious, not 
as results of human invention, but on the faith of a supposed 
vision of the artist as new communications from the gods'^. 
True mythus was never, therefore, allegory; it was an unpre- 
meditated expression which appeared such only when its sub- 
jectivity became obvious, and underwent a construction radically 
inconsistent with its mythical or sacred character. 



Nature is everywhere different, yet everywhere the same; 
and mythologies, which are only diversified reflections of it, 
maintain throughout all their varieties a certain analogy and uni- 
formity, so that , even where no affiliation can be traced, the 
ideas of one country may serve in illustration of those of an- 
other. The problems with which antiquity undertook to 

* Mythi. " Ortuwv, Symb. i. 85. 


grapple, and whicli it attempted to solve in its acouinnlations of 
mythi, were the same which must everywhere occupy the human 
mind, the questions of Qod, of man, and of Nature. The chief 
business of mythology is to explain known and familiar facts ; 
and the great fact of the world's existence naturally became a 
principal topic of mythic illustration. Hence the earhest 
efforts of philosophy took the form of cosmogony. It was an 
implied prerogative of that wisdom which was conceived as de- 
rivative firom the Divine to recount what took place at the ori- 
ginal construction of earth and heaven, an event virtually wit- 
nessed and attested by itself ^ The laws of Menu, like those of 
Moses, begin with cosmogony; and the history of the Etrus- 
cans, like that of the Srahmins and Chaldeans, is contained in 
an astronomico-theological outline embracing the whole course 
of time'. The lyre of Orpheus* and the pipe of Silenus* 
sung how heaven and earth rose out of Chaos; Atlas taught of 
men and beasts, of rain and lightning, of the eclipses and irre« 
gnlarities of the heavenly bodies ^ for the earliest hymns and 
utt^ances of Nature through the organs of her poetic children 
were necessarily the reflections of her own being, like the first 
strain of the infant Hermes : 

Even Plato so far conformed to the antique method as to preface 
his moral and political theories with his Timsus, so as to con- 
nect the institutions of man with the harmonious establishment 
of the universe. 

Cosmogonies are principally of two kinds, varying with the 
notion formed of Deity as Pantheistic or personal, bom the 

» ProT. Tiii. 27. Bev. iii. 14. 

* Niebnhr^s Eome, Transl. L p. 137. 

* ApoUon. Bh. i. 496. 

* Yirg. Edog. yi. 81. Silenus resembles the GaDesa, or Sacred Intelligence of 
the Hindoos, a personage corresponding with the Egyptian Hermes, i&lian, V. H. 
iii 18. Oic N.B. JHtvis and Crenzer, iiL 28. 

* Yirg. Mm I 741. • Homer, Hymn. Merc. 69. 

F 2 


most recondite Belf-evolution to the most familiar notion of 
manual construction. Extreme instances are the higher Indian 
and Egyptian doctrines, in which the external world is a mere 
development of the Supreme Being accompanied with the 
notion of a divine humiliation and self-sacrifice, and the Zoroas- 
trian and Mosaic systems, in which ^ a Divine Agent, distinct 
from the world, moulds a preexistent matter into forms after the 
manner of a human workman. The greater number of cosmo- 
gonical theories are intermediate between these extremes. In 
most cases a Pantheistic conception is interwoven with physical 
or human symbols; and this compromise between the obscure 
and the familiar was very commonly effected by adopting the 
form of the earliest oriental records, the genealogy^. The 
notion of creation is nothing more than an analogical in- 
ference from experience; the commencement of the world was 
as the dawning of the day, the spring of the year'; primeval 
night was the womb of nature; the seed, the egg, and the phe- 
nomena of human birth were each called upon to contribute 
their share to image forth a conception of the origin of the uni- 
verse. Among the rest the genealogical form, generally assumed 
by the traditionary memories of human successions, was found 
equally applicable to theoretical physics; it explained the ab- 
struse Pantheistie notion of the self-development of the Deity 
by an easy and obvious analogy, and cosmogony, more and 
more involved in physical and sexual illustrations through 
the treatment of hieratic poets, at last assumed the form of a 
divine pedigree or theogony. The successions of the physical 
and moral world which the Hindoos are presumed to have in- 
tended by their avatars, thus became in Greek theology revo- 
lutions of dynasties, and a series of family descents. Greece 

' Perhaps to theae might be added the Btriiscan, though the origin of the cosmo- 
gony in Suidas, art. Tyrrhenia, is very uncertain. But many curious general resem- 
blances to Magism are suggested in Hicali, " Monumenti InediU." 

■ Virg. Qeoig. ii. 886. 


contained a great variety of local cosmogonical legends, out of 
which was compiled the fragmentary composition known as the 
theogony of Hesiod. Many of such suhstantially independent 
mythi were now altered and modified to suit the system of the 
poet who incorporated them^ and hrought into a seeming con- 
cordance and uniformity hy heing made subordinate to the 
supremacy of the Cronidss^ and to the genealogy of Zeus. Thus 
the connection of Hephaestus with Aphrodite' which is hut a 
secondary incident in the pedigree of the Olympians'', was pro- 
bably the Samothracian symbol of creation; the net, the same 
doubtless as that in which Perseus was landed on Seriphus'^ 
represents the garment of the universe", or mantle of Brahm ; 
Hermes, who raises the laughter of the gods in the Odyssee at 
the amour of Ares, is the ithyphallic Oigon or Casmilus; the 
sun, who betrays the deed, and Poseidon, interceding for the 
culprit, are parts of the same mystery. The nuptials of Peleus, 
as of Zeus with Themis, Here, or Oaea, are each of them a 
sacred or cosmogonic marriage '*> representing the mystic union 
of heaven and earthy the prolific spring- tide of the universe'^. 
Almost all nations have endeavoured to enhance their dignity 
by connecting themselves with the gods and with the origin of 
the world. They believed their ancestors to have lived nearer 
to the gods, or to have been themselves gods. Oadmus and 
Cecrops are half human, half cosmogonical or divine; Thebes 
rising to the sound of Amphion's lyre is the world awakening 
at the music of the shell of Yishnou. A similar mythology 
with characteristic variations is found in the Vedas ; where the 
adornment of heaven with stars and the regulation of the seasons 
are ascribed to the powerful efficacy of patriarchal devotion'*. 
The wails of Athens and Troy were built by the impersonated 

• Od. Tiii. 266. Comp. Iliad, zriii* 882< 

^ Het. Theog. 945. " Stnbo, 487. 

^ Comp. Pherecyd. Stun, 45, 46. 

» 'li^ yfiot. Orphic Fng. 86« 

■* Vifg. Oeoig. ii« 826, 386. DicflMurclnu in Oreuzer, Symb. i. 18. 

» Roth, in the Zeitschrift der D. M. OeeellBchaft, i. p. 76. Lanen. Andq. i 769. 


elements, and the boundary of the Boman pomeBnum was the 
zodiacal limit originally marked out by the great Architect in 
the waste of space '*. The stories of the Centaurs and Lapith®, 
the wars of gods with Titans or giants, are the supposed ele- 
mental discord out of which arose the harmony and stability of 
Nature. At the head of each national genealogy men and mon- 
arohs issued from the ground, or derived their origin from a 
mysterious hypothetical ancestor who was either a known mem- 
ber of a theogonic series, or being without any ostensible fitther 
was inferred to be divine *^. Yet the original Pantheistic feeling 
was never entirely eclipsed by the humanising machinery of 
polytheism; it appears obscurely even in the Zendavesta, in the 
oosmogonical mythologies of the Furanas, and in the Homeric 
epic''. The oriental story of the protogonic egg became natu- 
ralised in the Peloponnesus; the Dioscuri springing from the 
swan-begotten egg of Leda**, are the sun and moon capped with 
the upper and lower hemispheres, or day and night; or to each 
of the two spheres was attached a feminine moon, Helena being 
substituted in one dualism for Castor, and the latter forming 
with Clythemnestra a secondary or Cthonian pair descended 
from a father whose relation to Zeus is the same as that which 
existed between the Dioscuri. But the imagery of Greek cos- 
mogony is not confined to that of sex. The Pantheistic feeling 
is still more distinct in the equivocal and independent genera- 
tions, such as those of Erectheus and Hephsstus; and it would 
seem as if it had been sometimes found necessary to modify the 
common phenomena by some extraordinary mark or restriction 
in order to convey more clearly the meaning of the conception. 
The strange figure of generation after swallowing, or by Cata- 
posis, as in the instance of Metis, is called by MtLller a poetical 

** Plutarch, Yit. Comp. Job xzxviii, 5. Prov. yiii. 27. 

" Herod. tI. 58 ; ii. Hi. Hebrews vii. 8. 

» Nitsch to 0dj88. Introd. 18. 

** Hansa, or the gander, (^u^- Ciris, 489,) the symbol of the creator Biahmay a 
bird sacred to Priapus and to Venus. Petron. Sat 187. Laor. Lyd. it. 44. . Las- 
sen. I. Antiq. 7S6. 


one*^; it is rather a hieratio or Orphic figure similar to those 
which occur in the legend of Cronus *'. WhetJier the cosmo* 
gonies termed Orphic*', or such of them at least as are as old 
as Onomacritus, were stricdy speaking revivals of native doc- 
trines or new importations from the East, it is clear that the 
Pantheism which they taught was not an absolutely new opinion 
in Greece, but that illustrated symbolically by theologers, 
and dogmatically by the Ionian philosophy, it amounted only to 
reassartion of the idea which lay at the foundation of the per* 
sonifying system. The Jewish Oabbalists endeavoured in the 
same way to supply from oriental sources what they conceived 
to be deficient in the simple narrative of Moses where Ood ap- 
pears to make a world without foreseeing the probable conse- 
quences**; and they were therefore induced to engraft upon the 
authorised account much of the mysticism of Plato, of Persia, 
and of Egypt; the doctrine of self-evolution, of an antetypal 
creation, and of an antemundane fall. Arbitrary interpreta- 
tions and changes like these were deemed necessary by philoso- 
phising Jews, in order to veil the unseemly familiarity of the 
Creator as a personal agent. Yet the theory of personal crea- 
tion is in itself no conclusive evidence of ruder intellects, 
or of an earlier age. The first children of the elements had 
not attempted to separate their god firom their own being; they 
rather felt htm to constitute the great aggregate of Nature, of 
which themselves were a part. The most common, and per- 
haps the earliest notion of the Greeks, with respect to the origin 
of man, was that he arose spontaneously out of the earth like 
trees and stones'^, like the ants and snakes which burrow in 

*• Mythol 876 or 808. 

^ Cronni, lappoied by lome deriTed from the Skrt — "Eli/* to make — Heier, die 
ursprmigliche form des Decalogs, p. 35. By others, related to the word ^' cniel," 
the God Krodho, &c. 

** Weiske, Promethem, p. 498 iq. Brandls Hift. Fhilos. I 69. PamMciiu, 
cIl 122, p. 881, Kopp. 

• Gen. vl 6. 

^ OdyH. zix. 188. ApoUod. i. 6, 1. Patu. iz. 60. Hor. Sat. i. 8, 99. Apol- 
Ion. Rh. W. 1641. Diod. 8. i. 10. Theog. 187. 


the ground", or grasshoppers which swarm upon its surface**. 
The unknown c^n only be conjectured from the known; and if 
man forms any speculation as to his origin, it must be one in- 
ferred from the visible analogies of Nature, as the Egyptians 
conceived themselves to be sprung from the fertile mud of the 
Nile, the Libyans from the sands of their native deserts'^, and 
the Scandinavians from the dense forests of their hills'". To 
say that men were descended from G-sea or frx)m the Titans, and 
were thus collateral relations of the gods'*, was only to repeat 
the dogma of their being earthbom under the form of personifi- 
cation. The idea of man being formed by the gods, which with 
seeming inconsistency occurs immediately after the passage just 
quoted from the Theogony'^ seems to have been a later and 
improved opinion implying a greater relative elevation of God 
above mankind, and perhaps a familiarity with the art of sculp- 
ture". It is concurrent with the notion of a personified God, 
and may adapt itself by suitable modifications to the highest 
and most dignified conceptions of which such a personification 
is susceptible. If, however, the notion of Deity has been ad- 
vanced beyond personification by philosophy, the notion of a 
humanly creating God would again become comparatively 
childish and undignified. The gods, with whom in Greek legend 
man was supposed to live in friendly intercourse, were beings of 
inferior rank to those who were afterwards supposed to be his 

^ Gomp. iEsch. From. 461, Bloom. Herod, i. 78. The giants were feigned to 
be snake-footed as being earth-bom. 

^ Hence Myrmidons, Dry opes, Leleges, Autochthones, Gigantes, &c Pans. viii. 
29, 4. The earthy says Plato, by providing food for her children proves herself their 
real mother. Menezen, 237, 884, Bek. Politicus, 272 (269). ApoUod. iii. 12. 6. 

" Pint. Isis and Osiris, 36. Diod. i. 10. 

" Banr. Mythologie, ii. 367. 

^ O^iv ytymmet. Hes. Theog. 108. Pind. Nem. vi. 1. Kitsch to Odyss. ii. 

» AtV. 110, 128, 144, 168. 

'* Weiske's Prometheus, 615, sq. It was, however, made as conformable as pos- 
sible to customary notions by supposing the materials fitshioned by Qttd into a human 
form to have been earth, and water, and fire. Tnf iv)«v i x yns ««< rv^. Plato, 
Protag. 320 D. Hesiod's Works, 61. Theog. 671. 


creators; yet it by no means follows that Ensebius '* was justi- 
fied in attributing impiety to Greek oosmogonical philosophy on 
account of the suppression of the name and office of a divine 



The creation as described in Genesis is a process advancing 
by regular stages and in fixed periods of time to its termination. 
In order to make such a process conceivable, it was necessary 
to imagine a period of commencement, or " beginning/' and a 
material to begin with. At an epoch thus generally assumed, 
or in the early days as opposed to the " latter days," so often 
mentioned in the Bible ^ God by his mandate moulded the 
confusion of chaos into forms of hannony and beauty. Such 
is the most probable nature of the process called *' creation" by 
the Hebrews in their account of the " generations " of the heaven 
and the earth. It is not a creation out of nothing. In the 
Hebrew, the words "form," "fashion," and "create," are used 
indiscriminately'; every instance of " creation" supposes a pre- 
existing material; whales are "created" out of water, and land 
animals out of earth; man is created "out of the dust of the 
ground;" and it seems needless to suppose the same word in the 
two cases to have distinct meanings'. 

The supposition of creation out of nothing would only intro- 
duce other difficulties; for then the "heaven and earth" of the 
first verse would be the chaos into which God afterwards intro- 

« Pr. Bt. i. 7, 12. 

" Comp. Schdman's Frometlieiii, 111. 

» ImL xln. 10. « Gen. 1. 21, 27 ; il 4, 7. laaL xliii. 7. 

* When the origination of a novelty is intended, it is called the "creation of a 
new thing," snch as the prodigy of a woman protecting a man, &c Jeienii xzzi. 22. 
Numb. xri. 80. 


duces light, order, and form. Without, however, attempting to 
apply to Genesis the philosophical objection to supposing God 
to create confusion ^ the Hebrew phrase heaven and earth, 
literally, the above and below, is the ordinary expression for the 
universe formed and distributed as we see it'; and is so used 
in the recapitulatory verse of the second chapter' for the 
finished results of creation. If the '* heaven and earth" of the 
first verse mean matter or chaos, then '' earth," in the second verse, 
is only an imperfect description of the same thing ; whereas this 
*' earth" is avowedly the general mass out of which as afterwards 
appears both *' heaven and earth" are eventually made. But if 
^'heaven and earth" be understood in their obvious sense as a 
general expression for the finished universe, they cannot con- 
sistently with the general narrative have been created out of 
nothing; since the sequel shows that they are the results of an 
operation of separation and arrangement continued for six 
successive days. The first verse has, therefore, been supposed 
by many critics to be no distinct act of creation, but merely an 
introduction or title, containing a brief summary of the ensuing 
narrative. In using the terms, "the above" and "the below," 
previous to their actual separation and distinct existence, the 
author is guilty of a slight, but necessary, anticipation of the 
second and third verses, where those names are assigned to the 
results of the creative act. In days of old there were no tables 
of contents or title pages; the first substitutes for them were 
incorporated with the narrative, as at the commencement of 
Herodotus and Thucydides, and several of the Bible writers. 
Such is the case here. The first verse is the preface; the 
second, a picture of the original state of the material out of which 
Ood wrought; the third, the first act of creation. A modem 
writer would have said with more formality, " Ood in days of 
yore made heaven and earth as follows;" or "the following is 

« put. Timffi. 80. » 2 Pet. iii. 7, 18. 

• Ver. 1. 


an account of the creation of all things by God;" or, *'in the 
days when God created heaven and earth, be proceeded thus," 



The earth, or "below," was originally a shapeless mass, con- 
sisting, as afterwards appears, of moist and dry materials in the 
disorderly state called "Tohn Bohu," ''waste and Yoid." This 
primiBval mass, like the ** yam" of Hesiod, is the progenitrix 
or material of the firmament of hei^ven, and of the waters of the 
sea; and it is only after these have been separated and brought 
into distinct existence that their parent assumes its specifically 
determinate character under the name of "earth," which 
God then assigns to it, in the sense of "dry land." The first 
earth, therefore, in its original state \ must have been a hetero- 
geneous compound, some "common form"' in which heaven 
and earth were as yet undistinguished, and analogous to that 
indefinite antecedent in Greek cosmogony, chaos. The true 
meaning of the term chaos is a hopeless etymological puzzle ; 
the Greek philosophers understood it as a personification either 
of the "void,"' which creation afterwards filled up, or of the 
hypothetical first element adopted by each as the " vm*/' or as 
the original unity or first term in a Pantheistic cosmogony^. 
Perhaps neither of .these opinions is utterly untrue in itself, or 
necessarily inconsistent with the others. The mind cannot 

* The idea that creation "out of nothiDg" ia a doctrine contained in Genesis has 
been long exploded. Compi Bohlen Indien, i. 164. Burnett's Theory of the Earth, 
i. 7 ; ii. 9. 

■ Verse 2. 

* lf«^ fum, Eoseb. Pr» Bt. i. 7, 8. 

' XmtfM, the "magnum inane" of Bpicums (Virg. Bel. vi. 31). Lennep's He- 
dod, p. 179. Aristot. Fhys. ir* 1, 7. 

* Plato, Symp. p. 178. Sext. Empir. adv. Math. 809, 882. Damasc. de Princip. 
cb. 124, p. 883, ed. Kopp. Sturz Acusilaos Fr. 29, p. 222. Oomp. the '* Cbaonian 
Zeus'* mentioned in Stephanos Bya., and Valerius Flaccus, Argon, i. 303. Serv. to 
JSneid, iii. 334, 385. Qeorg. il 67. 


conceive a purely Pantheistio cosmogony; any attempt to 
express such an operation in words would amount to a mere 
acknowledgment of its incomprehensibility. In order to frame 
an intelligible account of the structure of the worlds God 
must be personij&ed; and a personified God> like a human 
person, must, according to common analogies, have a material 
to work on; bhoutatma, omoroka, or nara, the mot* of 
Phenicia, or the slime of Egypt*, are required t6 be the subject 
of his manipulations. Cadmus could raise his cosmical city 
only where the bull had reclined, and Zeus could create the 
Leleges only by placing stones in the hands of Deucalion^. 
Sabylonian tradition makes Belus cut "omoroca"' in twain to 
form heaven and earth*, as the unseen Being of Menu placed 
in the thought created waters the egg out of which came forth 
Brahma ^^ Each coarse adaptation of the language of per- 
sonification to Pantheism became the foundation of cosmo- 
gonical legend, whether expressed under the form of manipula- 
tion or genealogy, as when earth engendered heaven, or '* XQav" 
became married to Zeus under the name of '' Gthonia." " The 
first philosophy retransferred that relation of God to the universe 
which had been dramatized in poetry once more into the 
language of Pantheism; the identity of mind and matter once 
assumed by the unconscious feelings was doubted, analyzed, 
and fancifully dressed out by the imagination; afterwards its 
dramatic form was withdrawn, and it was again deliberately 
reasserted as a philosophical hypothesis, or religious faith. In 
this process, however, the mind naturally attempted to connect 
its ideas with the traditional imagery of antiquity; and the 
''chaos of the poetical genealogies, always a favourite object of 

* Mud.? Euseb. Pr. Et. l 10, 1. comp. i-)*|0> the Phoanician Erebua, ib. i. 10, 22. 
Motor's, PboeniEier, 184, 281, 660. 

' Danutsc do Princ. ch. 186. Diod. S. i. 7. Iambi, tu. 2. Sin^tl. to Aristot. 
Phys. p. 50. 

* Hes. Frag. 85, Gottlg. * Tbe tea, or water 1 

* BeroBus Richter, 19, 50. ** Menu, i. 9. . 
" Creus. 8. i. 28 n. 


speculation to the earliest Greek philosophers^', became the 
hypothetical first principle, or " apx»»," which Thales andPhere- 
cydes are said to have compared to water*', others to an air or 
dusky vapour *^ and others again to the All or Infinite, of 
which the wa-fAos, or created universe, is only part". Yet, even 
in the hands of philosophers. Pantheism could not maintain its 
mystic phraseology, but was obliged, in order to be understood, 
to stoop to plainer language. Hence, the double doctrine 
which pervades the earlier systems ; even the idealists of Elea, 
in order to suit " opinion," condescended to frame cosmogonies 
which do not materially differ from the older forms hieratic or 
epic. The same abrupt inconsistency which in the Hindoo 
philosophies perpetually contrasts physics with metaphysics is 
found also in the Greek; and while the absolute unity of things 
is reserved for the contemplation and exclusive belief of the 
reason, opinion more deferenticd to appearances was permitted 
to indulge in a dualism, such as earth and water *^ or cold and 
warmth*^, a passive and an active agent conformable to ex- 
perience. In the later as well as the earlier philosophy of 
Greece, it was an established maxim, that, out of nothing, 
nothing can come''; and when in the progress of thought, the 
two principles, the living and the inert, which had been con- 
founded by the earlier Ionian Hylseozoists, came to be recognised 
as distinct, the material vxn was of course regarded as equally 
eternal with the independent Kivna-ig. The physics of Anaxa- 
goras supposed a dualism; an original corpuscular chaos with 
an intelligent activity; and as the Hebrew creation was essen- 
tially a process of severance, i,e,, of light from darkness, water 

^' Biog. L. X. 2. Ariitot. Hetaph. i 4. 

" Pherec. Stun, 89, 45. Schol. Apollon. Bh. i. 498. 

^ Schol. He8. Th. 117. Valcknaer Eur. Diatr. 12. Aristot de Coelo, iii. 5. 
Boccliylidet and Ibicns in Schoman's Piometheiu, 107. 

" Euseb. Pr. Bv. xv. 88. Heriod, Th. 700, 814. 

^ Karsten's Xenophanes, 146, 148. 

" Pannenides, t. 110. Aristot. Metaph. i. 5. Diog. L. ix. 22. Tenneman, 

** ArUtot Phys. Aqb. i. 4, 8. 


from wektet, and eardi from sea, bo the Greek became a 
" Jiaerra^ij air 'aAX^xwi'," a "^lAkfta-ii" or ** Jiatf icif," ** that is, 
the separation and arrangement of preexisting matter, under 
external agency. "All things," said Anaxagoras, and the senti- 
ment was so ancient as to be ascribed to Linus and to Orpheus'®, 
''all things at first existed confusedly; afterwards foug came, and 
by its interference arranged them." From the- commencement 
of Theism, philosophy necessarily becomes more or less dualistic; 
"universa ex materid etexDeo constant ^"^^ the more distinct 
the Theism, the more necessary the inference of the eternity of 
matter. Plato felt himself constrained*' to admit this dogma; 
for God he thought could not be the creator of a chaos; what- 
ever proceeds from the source of all good must be the best 
possible, and order is undeniably better than disorder'*. Even 
the supposition of an outstanding chaos beyond the limits of 
the Mo-fAOi, was in Plato's opinion inconsistent with the pre- 
sumed perfection and durability of God's works'^. In a system 
which assumed God to be the author of only good, it was 
necessary to find some other hypothetical source of evil"; and 
he therefore retained the notion of a primitive matter destitute 
of form and quality'*, but possessing the capacity of receiving 
them from the intelligent principle '^. The Alexandrian Jews 
adopted the Platonic cosmogony, and found no inconsistency 
between a system which assumed a preexisting matter and the 
Mosaic account. God was not in our sense of the word 
Creator, but only "Koa-f^io ti/^wtu^"^' Philo often asserts the 
preexistence of matter, and ascribes this doctrine to Moses; 

'* Euseb. Pr. Ey. L 74. Diod. S. i. 7. SchoL Apollon. i. 498. Diog. L. 2, 8, 1. 
* Diog. L. Proem, 4. ApoUon. Rb. i. 496. 
>> Diog. L. Tii. 134. Seneca, EpiBt 65. 
« Diog. L. iii. 69. 

» Timaeus, 80. " lb. 88. 

*■ Jtutin M. ad Gnecos Otto. i. 80, 60. 

" A«(«r9y, ttff^99j m^Mf, &c. Timas. 49. Tenneman. iii. 27, 175. Ritter, 

^ Tl»tt%X,^s» Timae. 51 a. 
» Gftdrer, Pbilo, ii. 298. 


tbat is, he so interprets the words of the LXX, 'S St yn n9 
aofarof Mai aMaTaerxstfaa-jof," the word yn heing taken for the 
original matter ^'^ which, having before been without form or 
arrangement, might Phitonioally be said not to have existed '^ 
Ood was instigated by his own goodness to impart some of the 
excellence of his own nature to matter", in itself devoid of all 
good**, and which being also inert and dead, could not be said 
in any sense to have originated from Ood, who is the source 
both of good and of life**. When, therefore, Gk>d is represented 
as creating, through the instrumentality of his logos *^, and as 
bringing the univeise out of non-existence into existence, the 
force of the expression is intended to assert the doctrine of a 
first cause, not to contradict the maxim, "ex nihilo nihil;" the 
divine agency is, strictly speaking, rather a forming than a 
creating one, expressed by the terms, " fAe§affAO^i<r$ai, /Airsfiaxsv,'**^ 
&c., its operation is in making the '*x^^?^^ oucia* into the 
'' afAuvnf" in bringing good out of evil, order out of disorder, 
harmony out of discord, and light out of darkness^. 

It should be noticed that the common English version of the 
passage in Wisdom '\ where the doctrine of the creation of the 
world out of a "shapeless material" is distinctly asserted, 
attempts to conceal the meaning by an ambiguity of expression. 
Such ambiguity is, however, almost inseparable from the 
delicacy of the subject; and the metaphysical mystery of the 
Platonists which opposed ideal existence destitute of qualities 
to visible and phenomenal eidstence was, perhaps, as unintel- 
ligible as the Christian paradox of "creation out of nothing" 
to which it naturally led, ideal entity and nonentity being to 

•• 'TX* «^«ef«f- * Hebrewi xi. 8. " Ty twtf. 

** Multt «f XmvTif tx^^^V m»Xt9. Pfeif. i. 12 ; ir. 840. 

** Pfeif. iv. 810. Comp. GMmm on the Book of Wisdom, p. 266. Carer's 
PUlo, L 828 iq. 

'^ 'O T« ^4 «*r« ^if^v mm rm wmrrm 'yttrSt. P£ ir. 18. Coofl Heb. i. 2, 8. 

»• Pi: i. 4, 6. 

" Maug. ii. 867, 414. Conf. de Cbernbim. Pfei£ ii. 66. De Monarch. Mangejr, 
ii. 219. 

^ Ch. xi. 17. 


ordinary apprehensions imdistingaishable. A Platonist and a 
modem Christian might both adopt the passages, 2 Macoab. 
vii. 28, and Hebr. xi. 3^ into their respeotiye oreeds, and a 
metaphysical ''faith" alone could appreciate the differences in 
their constructions of them. Some of the first Christian writers 
followed the opinions of Plato, and must have supposed them 
to agree with Genesis; for Justin Martyr makes Plato to 
have been in these respects a plagiary from Moses''. But the 
Christians had more difficulties than one to deal with. If they 
admitted a matter distinct from God, the result was Dualism 
and Manicheism; if with Tatian they made matter itself an 
emanation out of the Deity, they fell into that heresy of the 
Gnostics, which placed mere matter as a divine emanation on a 
level with the xoyo^. In this dilemma they boldly asserted the 
extreme paradox, in defiance of the maxim "ex nihilo nihil;" 
the world was not made by God out of matter, or developed 
out of himself, but created by him out of nothing''. 


The formless aboriginal earth of Genesis, like the primal 
universe of Menu *, is involved in " darkness, undefinable, un- 
discoverable." Darkness, either coeval with chaos or ante- 
cedent to it, precedes creation ; for day appears to rise out of 
night, and night, poetically the parent of day, may with equal 
empirical probabiUty be made parent also of the universe'. 
This idea personified was the Egyptian Athor or primal Venus, 
whose inscrutable majesty, worshipped in silence under the sig- 
nificant emblem of a black pall ', became the original Isis, or 

^» Apology, i. 58 and 92, p. 166, 252, ed. Otto. 

^ StrauBS, Dogmen. L 625. V. Bohlen IndieD, i. 164. 

' Jones's Works, yii 92. 

' Hesiod, Th. 124. Thales ap. Diog. L. i. 9, 36. 

3 Plutarch, Isis and Osiiis, 88, 89. 


Mother of Nature ^ and whose name is said' to signify the 
" cosmical abode of Horus," the visible world or sun, rising from 
the dark cradle of light and being. From this religious dogma 
arose the Egyptian practice of reckoning the twenty-four hours 
from evening to evening ' ; a custom alluded to in the Mosaic 
cosmogony, and prevalent among many other nations, Euro- 
pean as well as Asiatic ^. 



. The chaotic mass first presents itself as a universal watery 
expanse. Water was esteemed by many of the ancients as an 
" ^^X^y* or first principle, as being the appai^nt nourisher and 
supporter of life, and because by readily passing through the 
striking changes of the solid, liquid, and gaseous states, it pos- 
sesses pre-eminently that Protean quality which it was thought 
the original b\t\y or material of the universe, must have possessed. 
Water might readily be observed, according to Aristotle's defini- 
tion ', to change into various forms while its essence continues the 
same; or, to express the same idea mythically, the sea deities, 
Thetis', Nereus", and Proteus*, are susceptible of every sort of 
transformation, and return at last to their original shape. Con- 
siderations" such as these, combined with traditions emanating 
from the ancient centres of civilisation in the alluvied plains of 
Babylonia and Egypt, constituted the philosophy of Thales, as 

« Stobs, Eclog. Heeren. i. 52, p. 950. 

* Isis and Oaris, ch. 56. Danuucias, ch. 126. 
' Laur. LyduB. de Mens, i. p. 86. 

* MacTob. T. 1, '8. Ideler. Ghron. Hand. p. 42. Tacitus, Gkrm. 11. Caesar, 
Bell. QalL yi. 18. Anl Oell N. A. 8, 2. 

> Metapb. i. 8. ' Apollod. iii. 18. 5. 

» lb. ii. 5, 11. * Viig. Geoig. iv. 406. 

* Flntazcb. de Plac. i. 8. Easeb. Fr. Ev. 14. Heraclid. Font. xxii. p. 74. 
Cic N. D. 1. 10. Schol. ad Hes. Theog. 885. 

VOL. I. ♦ G 


long before his time the same causes had origiiiated the theolo- 
gical doctrine of the derivation of the gods and the universe 
from Ooeanus and Tethys'. These earlier dogmas influenced 
the more advised opinions which succeeded them; and it is im- 
possible to form a just conception of the earliest Greek philo- 
sophy without adverting to its relative position in regard to its 
predecessor, theology. The theologers^ it was said, were the 
first philosophers'; the philosophers continued to employ mythi 
as illustrations ^ and it would have been well if they had not so 
often added to their number. It is more consistent with the 
sententious and traditional character of ancient "wisdom" to 
suppose that Thales philosophized upon some sacerdotal dogma 
already current and approved, such as the Homeric — 

than to imagine him as an ancient Werner propounding an ori- 
ginal Neptunian theory on the sea-beach of Ionia, or the banks 
of the Nile, where the same inferences had long before been 
made. Aristotie expressly refers these opinions of Thales to 
the immemorial dogmas of the ancient sacerdotal bards", who 
made Oceanus and Tethys the universal parents, and the water 
of the Styx as the most ancient of all things, so also the most 
solemn and revered. In common opinion up to the days of 
Aristotle ^^, the sun was supposed to be nourished by moisture *'; 
or, according to Herodotus '^ to be fed by absorbing the water 
of the Nile; '' the sea drinks the air," said Anacreon'^ '^ and 
the sun the sea." The opinions of the Ionian sage have not 

* niad, 14, 201. 

* " nmfMrmXmut iuXayn^tttrtt*** Aristot. Hetaph. L 5. 

* Plat in Tims. Pht Plato OiutyL 402. 

* 'O f4X«r«f«f f4X4^»#«f. Arifltot. Metaph. i. 
>• Iliad, ziT. 201, 246. Heyne. 

" Heteph. i. 8, 6. Bek. 
*' Ueteorol. iL 2, p. 551. 

*' T(tfie0«i M ms twtytuu mumiufMUtmu Plat de Plac. ii. 17. Diog. L iz. 
9, 10. Stob. Eclog. Phys. i. 510, 524. Porphyr. Avtr. ch. 11. 
" Herod. iL 25. •» Anac. xix. 8. 


unreasonably been taken as a mark of the inoreasing inter- 
course of the Greeks with Egypt, since they were only a ration- 
alising interpretation of the well-known Egyptian dogma which 
recognised a divinity in moisture ^^ and which identified the 
great and good Osiris with tlie fertilising Nile'^. The inhabit- 
ants of the cultivated plains of India, Me8opotamia» and 
Egypt derived all their prosperity firom their great rivers, which 
they partly on that account conceived to have their source in 
heaven. The natural conditions of a hot climate caused mois- 
tore, as the most essential condition of existence^ to be regarded 
as divine*'^ as the inhabitants of the mountains and colder re- 
gions hailed the source of life in fire, and Ught, and the warm 
breezes from the south ^*. Hence the striking resemblances in 
many Asiatic cosmologies. The Chaldaeans ascribed the origin 
of all things to water and darkness ^^; the Egyptians to slime, 
penetrated of course by the " subtle understanding spirit" of 
Platonic philosophy'^ ; the Yaishnava dwellers in the plains of 
India '^ to the waters, over which brooded Narayana'''. The 
author of the somewhat inconsistent cosmogony in the second 
chapter of Genesis attributes to water a share equally important, 
or even more so than the writer of the first. He speaks as an in- 
habitant of the sandy wastes of Asia, and imagines the original 
state of the earth to have been a parched desert destitute of 
animal or vegetable life. In this hypothesis there was a time 
when earth existed without water; whereas, in the former ac- 
count, water originally usurped the whole earth. In (he one an 
appropriate abode for the land animals is prepared by removing 
the superabundant moisture; in the other^ vegetation first springs 

^ Damatc ch. 126. Jambl Tii 2. 
" Hetiodori Oithiop. ix. 22. 

'* Hence the notion of the ''dew of JehoTah." Comp, Bohlen. Ind. i. 162. 
» i. «. in the Bddai. ** Berosos, p. 49. 

« Giogniaut, Eel. L p. 512. 

** Hegasthenes in Strabo, xt. 712. Schwanbeck'i frag. M. p. 185. 
^ %.€, "moyer on the waters," Menu, i. 10. Comp. Laiaen, Ant i 777. 

O 2 



under the influence of a dew which the as yet sterile earth emits 
from its own bosom. 

From the oriental comparison of the terrestrial surface to a 
lotus flower home on the face of the waters** and the cosmo- 
logy on which it was founded, was probably derived the ancient 
dogma respecting an *' ocean stream/' respecting which Hero- 
dotus'*, though not denying the generally received opinion that 
the land is surrounded by the sea, expresses his scepticism '''. 
The idea of a circumfluent ocean river is said to have been ori- 
ginally Egyptian, or at least to have been imported from thence 
into Greece by Hecateeus". But the idea was not limited to 
Egypt. The Hebrews imagined the earth' as floating in the 
midst or upon the surface of the waters which had once covered 
it, so that God is said to have " founded the earth upon the 
seas, and established it upon the floods."*' Thales used the 
same phrase; he said the earth '* rested on the waters." ** The 
subterranean abyss was called by the Hebrews the " great 
deep," '" or the " deep that lieth under," " from whence, as in 
Homer'*, all the springs and rivers, even the sea itself are 
derived". When therefore God poured a miraculous supply of 
water from the rock, he is said to have " given drink (as it were) 
out of the great depths;" and the deluge of Noah, or the 
" breaking up the fountains of the great deep," was, physically 
speaking, only a temporary return of the original condition of 
the earth's surface, when even the mountains are said to have 
been covered by the sea" 


« Bitter, Asien. i. p. 5. «■ Heroi ii. 28. 

» Conf. Dionyg. Perieg. 41. Mela. i. 1. iBlian, V. H. iii. 18. Bochart, Ca- 
naan, i. 86. Gesner's Orpheus, p. 420, sq. Herod, iv. 8. 
^ Diod. S. i. 37. Schol. ApoUon. Rh. iv. 269. 
» Psalm xxiv. 2 ; czxxvi. 6. 
''» E^* viart, Arist. Metaph. i. 3, 5. 
» Gen. Tii. 11. Paalm IxxL 20. 
3» Gen. xlix. 26. Deut. xxxiii. 13. Exod. xx. 4. 
« niad, f, 196. » j^j, xxxviii. 8. 

^ Psalin cvi. 6, 




Above the darkling waters is said to hover, or rather ** gently 
brood," a wind or moving air; air considered not as a dead in- 
dependent substance, but an emanation of a living Being, and 
therefore the breath or spirit of God. There is something mys^ 
terious in the source and passage of the wind, which caused it 
to be referred to the immediate agency of the Almighty. Fire 
and air, says Aristotle, have their natural motion upwards ' ; 
they are generally classed by the ancients among TrveufMTifca, 
spiritual things, in opposition to the u?iifca, or material things, 
such as earth or water ^. he air, it was said, is a life-giving 
principle, distinct firom the three material elements'; and con- 
sequently in Hebrew cosmogony the water is the material out 
of which are made the birds, as well as its own peculiaf inha- 
bitants, the fish. The same idea is represented in the birth of 
the Assyrian Dove Goddess Semiramis, or Venus, the daughter 
of a fish, or of the waters*. The air, on the contrary, is pure 
spirit'; it was personified in Minerva and in Neith"; or as the 
VayuoftheVedas, identical with MahaAtma, (Great Spirit,) and 
the emphatic "That," which in the beginning " breathed without 
afflation."^ The invisible all-vivifying air is a natural symbol of 
the soul*, for " the breath is the life," " irrecoverable when once 
it has passed the barrier of the lips'*; a comparison immemo- 

' Phj-B. i. 2. . ' Hemclid. Pont. zzii. p. 78. 

' Laur. Lydiu. iii. 25, p. 122. Anaxinenes ap^ Cic. Acad. ii. 87. 

* Gnigniant, R. ii. 81, 33. Hygin. &b. 107. 

* Anima, or ^vxn, Virg. Edog. vi. 82. Orphic frag. 19, where it is said that 
"soul arises out of water." Clem. Alexand. Strom. y\. 746. 11. Heraclitas said 
that the death of soul is water — ^the death (corruption) of water, earth ; water arises 
from earth, and " soul from water." 

• Diod. S. i. 2. 

» " Tad," t. e. " He," or the nnrevcaled. Crenzer, Symb. i. 426, 618, 614. 
■ "Xv/tfiOivf im* i mnf rnt ^vx^t, Proclus, in Plat. Cratylum. Boisson, p. 99. 

• Iliad, iz. 404. 


rially recorded in common speech ". The soul, says Plutarch ' ', 
being reasoning and intelligent, is not only the work of God, 
but a part of his nature — not only V«-' aurou, but from him, 
and proceeding out of him — av avrov and c{ eunou; it is a 
part or fragment'* of that great Maha Atma of the Hindoos 
which lives and breathes through all extent, and which in the 
opinion of the philosopher Anaximenes envelops and contains 
the world as the human soul comprehends and contains the body ''. 
The boundless aether, conceived by Anaximenes to be the source 
of universal life, was a vital element possessing an inherent 
force of circular movement, in whose general vortex the hea- 
venly bodies are carried onwards in their paths ^*; a rotary im- 
pulse which Diogenes of Apollonia ascribed to condensation, 
and to the known tendency of fluid particles to form circular 
eddies when moving towards a centre ''. The most elevated 
part of the aether was of a refined and igneous nature '*, invest- 
ing the denser regions of the lower air as a tree is encircled by 
its bark ; and it was by the breaking up of this igneous ethereal 
integument, ihejlammantia mmnia mundi, that those living 
intelligences the sun and stars became distinct existences'^. 
The spirit of the atmosphere, the general respiration of Kature, 
is the source out of which proceeds all the multiplicity of 
being'', the universal life and intelligence'*; in short, it is 
Deity '^; and though the seeming materialism of this doctrine 

^ Ai in the words anima, wmtftMy tpirit. 

" QiUBSt Platon. p. 1001. 

" Horace, SaL ii. 2, 79. Viig. Mn, vi 747. 

>' Stobse, Eclog. Phys. Heeien. p. 296. Aristot. de AnimlL, L 2. 

" Diod. S. i. 7. Cic. Acad. ii. 87. 

*' Eiueb. Pr. Evang. i. 8, 12. Comp. Aristot. Phys. I 2. 

*' The ether was supposed to partake of the nature of fire, and both ideas were 
blended in that of spirit — sc. — " Aurai simplicis ignem/' Virg. Mn, Ti. 780, 747. 
Cic. Tusc. il 5, 18. De Div. i. 49. Aristot de Ccelo, iii. 8, 6. Sextos Empir. 
ady. Math. 9, p. 824 c. Karsten's Xenophanes, p. 161, 165. 

'* Euseb. ib. p. 47, Gaisf. 

>* Simplicins in Arist. Phys. 82 b. Tenneman, i. 836. 

»• Ib. 88. » Ib. 42. 


was sometimes contradicted '', for God, said Xenophanes, is all 
eye, all ear, but '' without afflation " or respiration^, the in- 
finite asther more or less symbolically understood preserved its 
character of ^'Divine" even in the philosophy of Anaxagoras; 
it is " the aniversal Father," said Euripides *', *' as earth is th$ 
common mother; and upon what is vulgarly termed dissolution, 
the elements (for nothing is absolutely destroyed) return to the 
Bouroes from which they respectively came, the earthly to earth, 
the heavenly to heaven." " Seest thou," he exclaims, '' this in- 
finite ffither which encircles the wide earth in its liquid em- 
brace ? This is to be esteemed as Jove — this, thisj is God 

It was in this natural feeling that the presence of the 
Almighty was supposed by the Hebrews to be accompanied and 
indicated by a rustling of the air, as when the evening breeze 
stirred the groves of Paradise, or when the Lord's going forth 
was betokened by a motion in the tops of the mulberry trees'^. 
The air, in short, was God's breath or spirit; its office and 
power was emphatically that of quickening, or giving life; it 
was this which in the beginning of things made pregnant the 
dark abyss of waters; which in after times animated Ezekiers 
dry bones'* ; which lives and breathes in man's nostrils ''^; and 
the withdrawal of which resolves all things into their original 

" Plato, Timsiu, 33 c, Tln»f»m mm h* ^t^n^r§t h»/»t9tf muutum. 
» Diog. Loert. ix. 19. « Frag. Chiyi. 7. 

** Heiaclid. Pont. 441. Eurip. frag, inoert 1. Herod, i. 131^ Quigniaut, B* i. 
154 n. 

*• 2 Sam. T. 24. Qen. iii. 8. Job ir. 12. 

* Esek. xxxril 9, 10. ^ Job xxidi. 9. 

» Pnlm ciT. 29, 80. 


§ 9. 

The use of the word ** brooding," in relation to the super- 
incumbent spirit) is connected either as cause or consequence 
with that Jewish adaptation of Asiatic symbolism in which the 
spirit of God was represented under the bodily shape of a dove. 
The birds soaring through the " sacred atmosphere " * towards 
heaven were naturally presumed to be the ministers and inter- 
preters of the gods'^ and emblems of purity and goodness. It 
is the nature of wings, says Plato *, to lift heavy bodies towards 
the habitation of the gods ; birds were indebted for their sup- 
posed skill in augury to their airy residence, and every god had 
some bird peculiarly his own, who was made the confidant of 
his intentions*. Images of birds, under the name of " Tongues 
of the Gods," were suspended in golden cages beneath an azure 
or sapphire ceiling in the royal palace at Babylon, where they 
were probably employed under the direction of the Magi for 
purposes of divination*. In Syria the dove and the fish were 
sacred animals ^ and among the Hebrews the dove was the only 
bird employed for religious purposes^. The Hebrew name for 
dove, " Jonah," fi:om a root signifying to ferment, probably 
refers to the character of sexual attachment and warmth which 
made it the well-known emblem of love and fecundity. The 
ancients ascribed its holiness to this characteristic, and it was 
worshipped not only in Syria*, but according to De Sacy ' among 

* LtH mifi^. SLvcYi. Prom. 88. 

' Omv xnfvMt, Surip. Ion. 180. Origen ag. Cels. iy. 569. ApoUon. £hod. 

iii. nil. 

' Phaedrna, ch. 26. 

^ Eratosthenes, Oatasteris. 41. Forpbyry, Abstin. iii. 5, p. 226. Aristopb. Atcs, 

* Philostrat. Vita Apollon. i. 25, p. 34. Guigniant, Rel. i. S41. Diod. S. ii. 29. 

* Lucian de Dei, S. ch. 14 and 54. ' Leyit. i. 14. 
« Tibullus, i. 8, 18. " Alba Falsstino sancta columba Syro." 

* Guigniaut, Rel. ii. 81 n. ; i. 513. Scbol. Apollon. Rh. iii. 539. Heyne, Apol- 
Jod. 896. Creu2. Pymb. ii. 398. 


the Semitic tribes in general. Isis seeking her lost husband on 
the Syrian coasts is there changed into the symbol of the na- 
tional Deity '^ and assumes as universal nature a corresponding 
Assyrian title, the fish-bom " Semiramis/' or " Dove God- 
dess."" According to the legend, a miraculous egg fell from 
heaven into the Euphrates; it was brought to land by the 
fishes ^^ and being there incubated by doves« produced the in- 
fant Venus**. The child, brought up by the shepherd " Simma/' 
received the name of " Semiramis," or " Mountain Dove," ** 
afterwards became the wife of Ninus^^ and at the close of her 
mortal career departed from earth in the dove-form *^ Semi- 
ramis was also one of the names of Atergatis or Athara^ the 
goddess of Hierapolis, where was to be seen an ancient statue 
representing her with a dove upon her shoulder'^. This was 
probably only another and later form of her legendary mother, 
the fish goddess, Derceto of Ascalon, with whom her name and 
legend are closely connected, although she had then ceased to 
partake of the fish, and was the mulier formosa throughout**. 
Another story told how a fish saved Derceto, who, during the 

"• Giugnt. R. i. 891. 

" Diod. S. ii. 4. Ovid Metaxn. !▼. 48. Semiramis, a dangliter of Derceto. 

" i. q. the fish incaraation of ViBbnoa, or Ninos, the Aujrian name for Pisces ; 
lee Dapnis, vol. y. p. 7, and firom Nun through hit son Joshua, who, like Moses and 
Christ, "goes forth out of the water" (comp. Joshua iii. 6, 17; iv* 18, 19, 23), 
the Christians probably derived their fish emblems engraved on rings as tokens of 
the Saviour. Guigniaut, R. i 121 m Winkelman. Allegoiie, ch. 5, p. 285. 

^ Hyginus, iab. 197. 

*^ Diod. S. ii. 4. Hesychius, voc. Semiramis. Bochart, Canaan, ii 740. 

M The fish. " Diod. S. ii. 20. 

** Lucian de Del Syrii, 88. The dove in Egypt was sacred to Athor or the 
first Venus ; see Qnigniaut, B. i. 518. Description de I'Egypte, pL 4, fig. 6. Oonf. 
as to the true name of Atergatis, Strabo, zvi. p. 748 or 785. Xanthus, ed. Creuzer, 
183. Baehr^s Cteaias, 898. 

^ Conf. Creuz. Symbol 8rd ed., vol ii. pt 2, plate 1, fig. 7. The deluge was 
annually commemorated in the temple at Hierapolis, said to have been founded by 
Deucalion or Semiramis ; the waters were supposed to have disappeared through an 
opening within the sacred precincti. ' Lucian, ib» 


darkness of night had fallen into the lake of Bambyce, and 
how the fish was rewarded by being placed in the Zodiac ^^ 
This mythical relation of dove and fish is evidently a physical 
allegory; the vicissitude of light and darkness, of humidity 
and warmth, of the wintry and the fair season. The voice of 
the migratory*^ turtle was the harbinger of spring ''; and the 
dove, to which as to every natural symbol was ascribed a pro* 
phetic power '^ was placed among the vernal constellations as 
the herald of returning serenity and life^. The Pleiades rise 
heliacally when the " rains are over and past^, and doves were 
universally^ sacred to the goddess of Nature, ascending out of 
the waters, and dividing the empire of the year with the pluvial 
fishes '*. They were called the " heralds of the seasons," '^ and, 
Chiron of Amphipolis explained the story of the doves bringing 
ambrosia to Jupiter*' to mean the spreading out the harvest 
on the offertory of Nature. There can remain little doubt 
why a dove was chosen to perform the office of directing Noah 
and Deucalion '^ how to escape the waters of the deluge, or why 
it guided the Argonauts on their astronomical voyage through 

*' Bratoftbenes, Oatact 88. ^ Ariftot. H. A. 8, ch. 6. 

*' ConticleB ii. 12. 

** Herod. Baehr. H 67. Stnbo, riL 328. BoseDmimer, Moigenland, i. p. 84. 
Ml N. A. zL 27. Yiig. Bclog. iz. 18. 

" Schol. Arat Phoen. 254. Bntotthenes, Gat. 28» 

^ CanticlM nb. b. *• JUian, H. A. it. 2. 

* It u carious that thfi word do^e, in to many langoagei, should be allied with 
the word diye or dip ; e. g. oolomba, nXiM*, taube, &c. from tanfen. The Pleiades 
are perhaps named from wXim, and are daughters of Atlas, the patron of navigators. 
Indian navigators, we are told bj Plin j, carried birds with them and nsed them as 
pilots to guide them to land. (N. H. 6. 24.) Jethro or Jothor, Bzod. iiL 1. LXX. 
— from Thor, bull, or Dotc, called also Baguel, " diTuie shepherd," is fsther of 
Zipporah, or '* little bird," and of seven daughters altogether, who are engaged in 
drawing water. (Hyadesl Ezod. ii. 16.) Compare the names of the Dodonaean 
nymphs or Hyades, the AMvurtv rJnwrns, in Pherecydes, Stun, p. 109. 

** By the poetess Moero of Bysantinm. 

» Odyss. zil 68. MttUer, Kleine Schriften, 2. 121. 

^ Plutarch, de Anim. SolertiiL, ch. 13. Btymol(>g. Magn. toc Dodonaios* 


(he perilous pass of the Symplegade8'\ On the standards of 
the Assyrian monarchs it became^ like the Boman eagle^ a na- 
tional symbol^ and Babylon is styled the dove-city 'S while 
Nineveh is the abode of its correlative the fish". The symbo- 
lical aspect of the fish is two-fold ; sometimes, as in the Baby- 
lonian legend about the fish-man Oannes, Oe, or Noah**, it is 
the originator of civilization ; or, speaking physically, the suc- 
cessor of winter, and in this sense the goddess Atergatis is the 
daughter of t£e fish and of the waters^. In another view, 
the wintry fish, as following the fair season, may be said to 
swallow up the dove, as in the instance of Jonah—'* the dove," 
who sings psalms from out of the *' belly of hell,"^ or, as when 
the' prolific force of Osiris is devoured by the fishes of the Nile *•. 
But the power of light and life descends into the bowels of the 
monster, only to insure its destruction'^; and after a contest of 
three days within the jaws of darkness", the sun God liberates 
the patroness of the dove in the persons of Andromeda and 

•• Apollod. i 9, 22. Odyw. zu. 64. 

^ Jeremiali xzr. 88; zlW. 16; 1. 16, with the commentaton. Jenualem was 
aibo a dove city (Zephan. iii 1), and the royal aceptre of its kings was tipped with 
a doTe bearing a golden crown in its month, according to Lightfoot. The figoie 
between Jnpiter and Jnno in the Syrian temple at Hien^xdis, with a dove on its 
head (Lucian, D. S. ch. 83), has been compared to Dionysos and to Semiiamis. 

* Wesseling ad Died. S. ii. 8, n. 22. 

" %,€, Aqnarins. Gomp. Schanbach's Eratosthenes, p. 119. Helladins apod 
Fhotiom, p. 874. Berosns, Bkhter. Hitsig's Minor Prophets, 868, Creoaer, Symb. 
157,69; ii.401. 

^ Grenzer, 8. ii. 405. 

^ Jonah ii. 2. Comp. Psalm zHi. 7 ; czz. 1 ; czzx. 1 ; cviL 26, 28. 

* Sacred fish, supposed by the inhabitants to haye been fiiTonrites of Abraham, 
are still preserred in the neighbonrhood of TripolL Kdly's Syria, p. 106. 

* Like the ichneamon worshipped at Heradeopolis, iKlian, H. A. z. 47. Bo- 
ehart, Hieroc. 794, and said to jmnp down the throat of the crocodile. 

" Ordfiraoes. 

* Tsetses to Lycophr. Gasaan. 88, p. 7. Hellanici frag. p. 162. The Ball, as 
well as its Pleiades, emerges from the ocean ; for instancy, Europa's bull, and that 
presented by Neptune to Minos. Nineyeh is rescued from its impending fiite by 


It Will not be wondered at that an emblem so well known as 
that of the sacred bird of Venus *^ should have found its place 
in Christian symbolism. " The Virgin Mary," says the Prote- 
vangelion Jacobi^S ''continued in the temple as a dove edu- 
cated there, and received her food from the hand of an angel." 
No man, says the Sohar, knew what became of the dove which 
returned not to Noah's ark. Of course it could not have 
perished ; but like Aaron's rod, or Balaam's ass, would resume 
its functions in the days of the Messiah. '' It returned," says 
the Sohar, " to its own place ; and it shall carry in its mouth 
a crown, which it shall place on Messiah's head." *' It very 
naturally followed that the dove should perform a part in the 
important ceremony of anointing or baptism by which the per- 
son of the Messiah in Jewish opinion was to be publicly made 
known*'. When Christ, therefore, the Sun of Righteousness 
emerges, or " goes straightway," out of the water, the dove, the 
well-known emblem of the Holy Spirit**, appears in bodily 
shape, accompanying and testifying his mission. As a token 
of endearment**, it might have been also significaut of that 
divine love which brooded over the shapeless chaos, or mundane 

the pleaching of Jonah, and eren now a place Is shown in its neighbourhood as the 
prophet's graye. Tavemier in Winer's Dictionary, i p. 703. It seems not impro- 
bable that the writer of the book of Jonah has connected the name of an ancient 
Hebrew prophet with the symbols of the worship of the synonymous Assyrian 
" Doye ;" and it may be worth consideration whether the l^^ndary marriage of 
Semiramis with Menones or Onnes, an officer of Ninus, Greuz. S. ii. 400 ; Biod. 
8. ii. 5, may not afibrd a clue to conn^t the religion of the Dore with that of the 
Memnonia and the mournful obsequies paid to the God of Nature under the name of 
Memnon in Assyria and Egypt. 

«• Propert iv. 6, 68, « Ch. yiii. 2. 

« Ad Numb. fol. 68. 

*^ Justin M. Tryph. 8 and 49 — the word taube in German, is related with 
taufen, " to dip, or baptise," as dove probably with dive, or dip< 

** The spirit of Qod, says the Talmud, hovered above the niters as a dove hovers 
above her young, yet touches them not. Wetstein to Matt iii* 16, and Targum 
Megilloth to Cant. ii. 12, where the voice of the turtle is rendered by '' vox 
spiritus sanctf Gonf. Deilt xxxii. 11. 

<• Cant. ii. 12. Psalm Ixxiv. 19. 

LIGHT. 93 

egg, and which carried in its month the olive-branch over the 
waters which had desolated the earth. It was equally adapted 
as a moral emblem to signify the commencement of a new re- 
ligious era of mercy and charity ; and the introduction of this 
image at the baptism of Jesus was still more appropriate, if in- 
tended to convey the idea of a dove-like incubation over the 
purifying baptismal waters through which a new moral world 
was to be created, and the chaos of the soul regenerate^ by the 
spirit of Christianity. 

§ 10. 


Many physical and mystical reasons may be imagined for 
supposing light to be something independent of the sun. 
Neither light nor darkness are any part of the chaos, or original 
burly burly ^ of the earth; they are external^ and qualitative. 
Light, says Aristotle', is an energy or activity of the power of 
transparency ; that is, something which it seems unreasonable 
to confound with material gross bodies. If, in the opinion of 
the Hebrew writer, light had been a substance, there would, in 
this instance, have been a '* creation out of nothing ;" but Ught 
is no more matter or substance than the darkness which is its 
opposite. The singularly emphatic summons by which Ught is 
called into existence is probably owing to the pre-eminent 
utility and glory of that element, together with its mysterious 
nature, which made it seem as 

" The God of tluB new world," 

and won for it the earliest adoration of mankind. If the writer 
had designedly employed the elevated diction which merited the 
eulogium of the Greek critic from the mere sense of its appro- 
priateness and grandeur, he would in all probability have ex- 

* Tohn boho. ' De Anim. ii. 7, 4. 


tended the same majestic simplicity of language to the whole 
act of creation ; he would have imagined the eternal inscrutable 
Being pronouncing once for all the creative fiat, ''Let heaven 
and earth be made, and they were made ;" or he might have 
adopted the still more sublime idea of the Yeda, where God 
creates worlds by a mere thought'. But the poetical effect is 
evidently inartificial and unstudied; and the peculiarity of its 
form is probably owing to the difficulty of ascribing the origin 
of the subtle element to any familiar source. Earth and water, 
the materials of creation, could not have been supposed to have 
given birth to the refined element of light any more than to that 
of air; and it would have been derogatory to have supposed 
that light already existed commingled with darkness from which 
it could be separated by a mere demarcation of its boundaries. 
Hence, in all the ancient religions, light is more or less identified 
with the person of the Deity; either literally or figuratively it 
is an emanation from himself, the garment with which he is 
invested^ the shrine in which he dwells. It was one of those 
deep mysteries which can be referred only to omnipotence. Its 
path and propagation were alike inscrutable^; its locality and 
habitation was a sphere more lofty than that of the Sun*; for Job 
is challenged by the Almighty to divine its true dwelling-place, 
or to point out the way to it'. Ood is the only existence who 
could be supposed anterior to light'. The old theologies had 
separated the reign of Helios from the remote principle per^ 
sonified in Pthah'; and many of the Greek philosophers are 
said to have thought the sun, like the moon, to be not the 
original source of light, but only a receptacle or refiection of 
it'^ In the general arrangement of his plan, the Hebrew 

' Colebrook'8 Esiaya, i. 47. V. Bohlen Genei. 9. 

* Pialm civ. 2. » Job xxxviiL 24. 

* Comp. Julian's Oretion to the Sun. 
' Job raviii. 19, 24. 

* Isaiah xlil 16; xliii. 18; xU. 7. 

' Old Egyptian Chron. Cory's frag. p. 89. 
»• Euseb. Pr. Bv. i. 8, 10. 


writer 18 ol)liged to suppose a separation of ligbt from darkness 
before the formation of the sun, in order to account for the 
existence of day and night In Hebrew opinion the boundary 
between light and darkness was the visible blended with a notion 
of the rational horizon, a line rounded off at the level of the 
circumambient waters ^^ But this division was not so absolute 
and complete as to prevent that slight mixture on the confines 
of each which occasions the phenomena of twilight. Hence 
evening, nn^, is literally, the "intermingling;" and daybreak, 
lp3, is so called from the root, " to cleave or split," because the 
light appears to break into, or cleave the darkness. 



The firmament, literally the "expansion," is the same as the 
heaven', overhanging the surface of the earth like a tent or 
curtain*; and God is therefore said to have "stretched out" the 
heavens, and spread out the earth*. The material of the firma- 
ment is compared to sapphire stone ^, to crystal^, or to a molten 
mirror'. It was made to "divide" the primeval waters, and 
with strength sufficient to support the stores of supernal moisture, 
called "the waters above the heavens,"^ where the throne of 
Jehovah was established in the midst of them '. It formed, as it 
were, a solid roof to the habitable world', and was propped by 
mountains or pillars '^ like the "brazen heaven" of the Greeks 
upborne by Adas. Birds here found the utmost limit to their 

" Job xxTL 10. > Ver. 8. 

3 Job ix. 8. Psalm civ. 2. Isaiah xl. 22. 

' Iniah xlii. 5 ; xlir. 24. Zech. xii. 1. 

« Exod. xxiy; 10. • Biek. i. 22. 

« Job xxxrii. 18. ' Psalm cxiviii. 4. 

* Psafan xxix. 8, 10 ; ciy. 8. 

0»{«Mir MTcf^f^ */»« ^«f wi^i ittifrm mmXinmL — ^Theog. 126L 
'* 2 Sam. xxii. 8. Job xxti. 11. 


upward flight"; and meteors, such as lightning and thunder, 
which were " the noise and fire of the Deity," *' are ahle only hy a 
special contrivance to penetrate the heavenly vault; the Hebrew 
word for lightning probably means the "breaker through,"** 
and God is obliged to make a temporary passage through the 
roofing of the sky for the rain and thunder *\ Some analogous 
and uncommon way of "opening the heavens" was a necessary 
preliminary to the disclosure of celestial visions *'; and to 
account for immoderate deluges of rain, the firmament was 
supposed to have doors", or windows", the opening of which, 
by releasing the upper waters, would, of course, submerge the 
earth, and reduce it to its original state of a universal ocean*". 
This "brave overhanging firmament" was literally, to the 
Hebrews, "a roof fretted with golden fire." The lights of 
heaven were "set" in it, and the stars were attached to it like 
studs of gold*'. It is a well-known doctrine of antiquity, 
that when the elements had become separated from each other 
by their comparative weight or lightness, fire, as being lightest 
of all, assumed the highest altitude '^ and that, consequently, 
the earth is inclosed by a fiery integument, or " empyrean," of 
which the sun and stars are a part'*. The heavenly bodies 
after their formation, effect what God himself had before per- 
formed, when he separated the light from the dark; they are to 
rule over the changes of day and night; to be "for signs and 
for seasons, for days and for years;" "signs," because the 
aspect of the heavenly host was esteemed portentous astrolo- 
gically, as well as of changes of weather'"; and "seasons," 

" C^n. i. 20, litt, towards the fumament 

» Fialm xzix. 7; xriiL 8. *' Bank or Parak. 

i« Job xxxviii. 25; xzYiiL 26. '« Matth. ill 16. 

M Psalm IzzYiii. 28. 

" Gen. Tii. 11. Isaiah zxIt. 18. *' Gen. riii. 2. 

1* Athense. zL 78, p. 489. 

** Ex aetheie innumeiabiles fiamnue siderum existunt. Cic. de N. D. ii 86, 46. 
•» Con£ Euscb. Pr. Ev. i. 7, 4; L 8, 18. Psalm xix. 4. 

« Matt xTi 8. Job xxxviii. 38, 36. Wisd. Til 17, 21. Dan. vi. 27. Luke 
xxi. 25. Tti^f Horn. II xviii. 485. 


becanse they mark the ordinances and subdivisions of time *^, 
and were to continue the heralds of summer and winter until 
the end of the world ^*. Then, indeed, their mission, as being 
exclusively confined to the service of earth, would be at on end; 
they would no longer adhere to the firmament; and when at the 
last day the heavens would be folded up as a scroll^ the sun 
and stars would fall out of their sockets ^^, and drop down like 
the untimely firuit of a fig tree'**. 



The opinions of antiquity are not recorded dogmatically, but 
in familiar narrative. Complex phenomena are described as 
successive, and marked by intervals of space and time. Creation 
is a series of events; and as the imagination is able more readily 
to follow the picturesque details of the flight of Juno in the 
Iliad \ or to accompany, as it were, the transmission of the 
telegraphic beacon firom Ida to Argos in j^schylus^, so the 
construction of the universe is made more distinctly conceivable 
by being divided into a processional development, each stage 
of which is pronounced to be perfect before the commencement 
of the next. The cosmogony of Genesis, like that of the 
Zendavesta, is arranged under six periods or subdivisions; but, 
instead of the chronology of the year, it adopts that of the 
week; and there can be little doubt that the principal object of 
the writer in this distribution of his subject was to sanction the 
observance of the seventh day by claiming the appointment of 
God for it. To understand the days of creation in any other 

» Job zzzYiii. 88. Pnlm dr. 19. 
^ Gkn. Tiii. 22. Jerem. zxxiii. 20. iBschyl. Agam. 5. 
** Isaiah xuiv. 4. Con£ Horace Epod. zvii. 15. Plutarch, vit. Lysander. 
» Matt. xziT. 29. Key. tI. 18, 14. 
D. xir. 225. • Agam. 275. 

VOL. I. H 


than the usual sense would therefore disappoint the prohahle 
intention. One great ohject of legend is to give plausible 
reasons for existing facts and institutions; to support the 
present by appealing to the past; and to make history and 
opimon the mutual bulwarks of each other. The institution of 
the week was common and immemorial among the Semitic 
tribes, who as Sabaeans, or star worshippers, set apart one day 
out of seven as a festival to their tutelar deity; the Arabians 
and Babylonians to Mylitta or Anahid; the Phoenicians to 
Saturn or Chiun; and others to the Sun. The sacredness of 
the number seven' was probably, according to the remark of 
Varro*, taken from the Pleiades or Planets, and the week was 
a convenient quartering of the lunations. Thus the solemn 
feasts and periodical observances of men descended to them 
from the gods^; an opinion confirmed by their high antiquity, 
and by their constituting an essential part of priestly regime. 
Hermes or Thoth, the reputed leader and discoverer of the 
Egyptian year, was also the inventor of the seven stringed 
planetary lyre, and his institutions, so remarkably in many 
respects resembling those of the Hebrews*, probably included 
that of the week, since " the Egyptians," says Herodotus, 

' Comp. the seyen altars of Balaam, the seven stones of the Arabians. Herod, 
iii. 8. Gen. xxi. 28. Virg. ^n. vi. 38. Qesen. Isaiah iy. p. 319. Miiller, Ar- 
chftologie, 299. Guigniant, Bel. i. 859. GhiUany Menschenofier, 119, 221. The 
Persians revered the nomber seven, but did not divide the lunation into weeks. 
Ideler. Lehrbneh. p. 480. Among the Greeks, too, the number seven was respected, 
but not adopted into the calendar. Hesiod*s Works, 770. Callim. Delos. 251. 
Plutarch Symp. viii. 1 ; iv. 7. iEschyl. Septem. 801. Buseb. Pr. Ev. xiii. 12, 10, 
and xiii. IS, 36. Bwald, GFeschichie Anhang. to vol. ii. p. 105. 

* AnI. Gellius, N. A. iii. 10. Ideler. Lehrbuch. i. 60, 88. Plato, Timaeus, 88. 
Tacit. Hist. v. 4. 

* v-amyv^tif iv^fut M»} ^f^9v ec*>v. Dion. Hal. Bhet. 1. Strabo, z. 467. Plato, 
Leg. ii. 653. 

* "iEgyptii Judaicique ritus." Suet. Tib. zzzvi. 1. Tacit. Ann. ii. 85. Simpl. 
in Arist. Phys. 268. e. g, the seven days' mourning for Joseph (Gen. 1. 10), the 
sabbatical April festival when crocodiles were innocuous, the sabbatical period ob- 
served in purifications, &c. Pliny, N. H. viii. 46. Forph. Abstin. iv. 7. 


''were the first to dedicate each month and each day to some 
god/'^ meaning the naming of the days of the week after the 
planetary Gahiri, which Dio Cassias" also remarks was originally 
Egyptian'. The Hebrews did not name the days of the week^ 
but merely nmnbered them; from very early times, however, 
they had ascribed a religious reverence to the seventh day, or 
dies Satami; and, to judge from the capital punishment inflicted 
on the man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath, the institution 
must have arisen at a time when in the character of Jehovah, 
the ''Maker of the seven stars and of Orion,"^^ the severe and 
jealous prevailed over the merciful. It would appear from the 
whole of Genesises as well as from the use of the word "re- 
member," in the fourth commandment, that the observance of 
the Sabbath, or at all events that of the week, was long anterior 
to the Levitical law i^ its present shape*'. The first express 
mention of Sabbath observance is on the occasion of the 
manna; but the institution was supposed to have originated 
with Jehovahy the great appointor of times and seasons'*, in 
the most ancient times, or at the creation. Yet it does not 
follow that the same idea of God prevailed among the first 
observers of the rite, as among the Pharisees, who carried it to 
a superstitious extreme, or in Christianity, which mitigated its 
severity. If the original Sabbath was a day of sacrifice to Saturn, 

' Herod, u. 82. 

• Dio Ous. zxzvii. 17, 18, p. 42, Steph. 

' The dayi were aamed after the planeU, arranged in the rapposed order of their 
orhits— SaturB, Jupiter, Mars, the San, Venus, Mercury, the Moon. One of these 
names was applied in rotation to each of the 24 hours, and each day took the name 
of the pknetarj god which happened to'M on ite first hour. Saturn presides over 
the first hour of Saturday— the last hour of Saturday would fitll to Mars, and the 
first hour of the next day would belong to the Sun, and so on. The modem week 
is thus a curious monument of ancient astronomy. Conf. Fourier's M^moire in the 
" Descript. de I'Bgypte,*' i. 807. Ideler. Lehrbuch. 48. Plato, Sympos. ir. 9. 7. 

'* Amos ▼. 8. The ancient Sabbath was a feast of rejoicing (Hosea il 11), not 
always, it would seem (Bzod. zzxii 5. Jerem. vii. 9, 18. Exek. zxii. 8 ; xziii. 88), 
of an innocent description. 

" Ch. vii. 4, 10; Yiii. 10; xxix. 27; 1. 10. 

" Ewald, nt sup. »• Daniel ii. 21 ; vii. 25. Nehem. ix. 14. 

H 2 


and the Sabbatical ceremonies in the temple under the kings 
were often only a sequel to the sacrifices in the valley of 
Hinnom'\ it is easily conceivable how in the estimation of the 
prophets the observation of new moons and sabbaths should 
have become an abomination to Jehovah", or how under another 
view the institution should have been regarded not as in itself 
offensive, but as a criminal abuse of what was originally good^^ 
and that the glaring profanations of the Sabbath should appear 
in the retrospect as the chief cause of all the evils which after- 
wards accrued.". The extravagant pretensions of the Jews 
claimed a universal sacredness for the rest day, which hence- 
forth was so rigidly kept that they preferred to die rather than 
to commit a breach of it". The Christians termed such strict- 
ness '' Judaizing;" they observed both the Saturday and Sun- 
day as joyful festivals on which it was criminal to fast"; and 
an edict was issued by the Laodicean synod prohibiting Chris- 
tians from discontinuing their ordinary business on the Sab- 
bath under pain of being held accursed. The Boman writers 
treated the Sabbath as an institution peculiarly Jewish ^^ as an 
idle waste of time, or childish superstition '^ The Jews them- 
selves claimed the Sabbath as their peculiar privilege, given 
them by God to distinguish them from all other nations '*. 
They testified their respect for its sanctity by connecting it with 
the most signal events in their annals, making it now comme- 
morative of the creation of the world, and now of the deliver- 
ance out of Egypt". In all probability its true origin was in- 
dependent of both these events. The escape from Egypt need 

*« Ezek. zxiiL 37, 88. Jerem. ziz. 14.' 
*« Isaiah i. 18, &c. 

'* Jerem. xvii. 24. Bzek. xz. 16 ; zxii. 8. 
" Nehem. ziii. 18. 

'• Jos. Ant. xiL 6, 2. War, i. 7, 3. " TertuU. ApoL Id. 

* Justin, 86. Tacit. Hist y. 4. Jnven. vi. 159. 

'^ Seneca, in August de Civ. yi. 11. Horace, Sat i. 6, 69. RutiL Iter. 8. 
Grid, Ars Am. 1. 
« Ezek. XX. 12, 20. 
» Bxod. XX. 8; xxxL 18. Leyit xxiii. 8. Deut v. 15. Euseb. Hist i. 40. 


no more have been the origin of the Sabbath, than the deluge 
of the rainbow; in both cases a well-known fact was linked to 
a particular occurrence in order, by making the one a memorial 
or authentification of the other, to render both more significant 
and impressive. The Hebrews wisely converted the already 
established usage of a day of rest into a safeguard of their civil 
and religious constitution**, of which it ahready was a part, by 
adopting it for ever as a " sign"'* or token of their theocratic 
allegiance, and of the identity of their pecuUar Ood with the 
universal Creator*". By a similar inversion the Persian crea- 
tion by Ormuzd in 365 days was reputed to have caused the 
invention of the solar year*^; and the whole religion of Iran 
with the numerous festivals of its calendar appeared as a per- 
petual jubilee in commemoration of that divine work*'. 



But, assuming the six days of creation to be a copy of the six 
working days of the week, a question arises how to account for 
the details of the arrangement; for instance, why the sun and 
moon are of more recent origin than the grass and plants, and 
why a separate day is not assigned to the vegetable creation, as 
well as to the fish and birds. The origin of this apparent irre- 
gularity is probably to be sought not so much in physical causes 
as in the character of oriental poetry to which a symmetrical 
arrangement of clauses and expressions is as essential as with 
our own a harmony of rhythmical sounds. It is easy to refer, 
among the books more strictly poetical, to innumerable passages 
where a sentiment is purposely divided into two parallel parts 

** Bzek. zz. 12. Neliem. ix. 14. 

^ The Hebrew jl^2^, or Homeric rt^mf (Iliad. zi» 28), ru^, or rt»fut^. H. 
L 526. iSscbyl. Prom. 441. 

^ Exod. xzzi. 18, 17. Jerem. z. 16. 

" Gaigniant, ReL i. 709. " lb. 711. 


or clauses of perhaps perfectly identical meaning, in order to 
attain this object of a balanced cadence so agreeable to an 
oriental ear. The difficulties which have often occurred in re- 
conciling Genesis with geology, might have admitted an easier 
solution in the rules of prosody and the arrangement of strophe 
and antistrophe. The whole scheme of creation is divided 
into two correlative parts. The first describes the origin of in- 
animate nature ; the second, of living beings. To the former 
belong the plants and humble grass of the field, the emblem of 
every thing feeble and transitory^; both being accessories and 
appurtenances of the earth in order to make it a suitable habi- 
tation for living creatures. On the other hand the heavenly 
luminaries and " the stars walking in brightness^", the 

take the first rank in the second section of the drama as being 
first in the scale of active and animated beings. The worship 
of the heavenly bodies was probably the earliest form assumed 
by the religious sentiment. The sun, immemorially adored by 
Persians and Egyptians, was the visible emblem of the Pytha- 
gorean Unity*, the leader of the sky, Allmighty, AUgenerating^; 
and when Anaxagoras irreverently announced this great father 
of the universe^ to be only a stone ^ his more rational philo- 
sophy oansed him to be persecuted as an infidel^. The second 
moiety of creation stands then in strict relation and correspond- 
ence with the first; the three latter days people with life the 
material world produced during the three former. The first day 
brings forth the universal lights which on the fourth is embodied 

> 2 Kings zix. 26. Psalm ciii. 15. Matt vi. 30. 

' Job zxzi. 26. Psalm xix. 5. 

' Lav. Lydns. de Mens. p. 15. Porphyr. Abstin. Bbser. 168, 242. 

♦ Plato, PhsBdrus, S. 56, p. 41. Macrob. Sat i. 17, 21, 23 ; Fearfully glare his 
eyes from beneath his golden helmet, says the Homeric hymn in Sol. 10. The 
'< Divine niler Bavitri," t. e. ''Progenitor" of the celebrated text of the Veda. 
Quigniant, £. i. 600. 

* SophocL Frag. 91. • Max. Tyr. xxv. 8. 

' Josephus agt Apion, ii. 493, Hav. Julian Imp. Oration to the Sun. 

» • 4*. 

a » 


and personified in sun, moon, and stars; on the second day are 
made the firmament and sublunary waters, which on the fifth 
are inhabited by birds and fish ; on the third day the land with 
its vegetable covering emerges from the deep, and on the sixth 
it receives its appropriate living occupants, who are to be fed 
without distinction of graminivorous or carnivorous on the in- 
nocent "green herb" which adorns its surface. 

§ 14. 


It was the practice of the old theologers, says Aristotle, to 
speak of the earth as the centre of creation, and to treat the 
heavens as a mere covering made for its sake\ The Hebrew 
cosmogony exhibits throughout a still more exclusive and cen- 
tralising spirit; it is exactly the view of the origin of things 
which would be adopted by a writer living in Jerusalem, who 
looked on the rest of the world as a mere appendage of, the 
Jewish people'. The sun, moon, and stars, are made in order 
to give light to the earth, and to govern its convenient appoint- 
ments of years and seasons. Again, the animal and vegetable 
creation are entirely subservient to the dominion and use of 
man; man is chiefly regarded as the ancestor of Seth, and suc- 
cessively of Shem and of Abraham. With the commencement 
of the history of Abraham, all interest ceases in the rest of 
mankind except as far as they happen to be incidentally con- 
nected with the afiisdrs of the Patriarch or his descendants. 
The Hebrew earth, like the Greek, is the centre of creation ', as 
Jerusalem is the centre of the earthy and Mount Zion the envy 
of all surrounding hills*. The details of the picture framed in 
the spirit of nationalism are evidently filled up by poetical 

> Meteor, ii. 1. Het. Th. 127. * 2 Esdxas tL 55, 56. 

' The wmvTtn XUi, Hes. Th. /i^s rcvrwy »tu fim^tt, TinuBUB Loenis, Gale, 552, 
with roots and fonndations of indefinite extent. PUto, Tinue. p. 40. 
* Szek. ▼. 5. Paalm Uviii. 16. 


fancy. Jehovah founded the earth upon the seas, and esta- 
blished it upon the floods^: a doctrine already explained. But, 
resting on so unstable an element, it was necessary that the 
earth should be secured by pillared foundations ^ poetically 
called " the beams of the Lord's chambers,"^ but which practi- 
cally speaking are one and the same with the mountains', 
erected and " set fast from the beginning"", in order to be the 
props and buttresses of the unfixed world '^; by means of these 
the earth was firmly pegged into its place and rendered im- 
moveable '\ These solid foundations are themselves shaken 
when God is angry"; " the pillars of heaven tremble and are 
i^tonished at his reproof. " " 

But, if the earth rests on pillars, it naturally becomes a ques- 
tion on what do the pillars themselves rest? " Whereupon are 
its pillars sunk, or who hath laid its comer stone ? ** '* The 
Hebrew poet, like the Boman*^ is here obliged to abandon the 
attempt at explanation, and to resolve the enigma by an appeal 
to supernatural power. " He stretcheth out the north over the 
empty place, and hangeth the world upon nothing."'* The 
world was believed by the ancients to rise towards the north *^ ; 

* Psalm zziv. 21 ; czxxvi. 6. 

' Job is. 6 ; xzzviii. 4, 6. Paalxn zTiii. 7 ; Izzv. 3 ; civ. 8. laaiah zziy. 18. 
Horn. Od. i 58. 
« 1 Sam. ii. 8. > Micah ri. 2. 

* Psalm IxY. 6. 

1* Psalm xc. 2. Prov. viii. 25, 29. 

" Psalm cxzziii. 9 ; xdii. 1 ; xcvi. 10 ; Ixxriii. 69. 1 Chr. xvi. 80. 

" 2 Sam. xxiL 8. Psalm xviii. 7, 15 ; IxviiL 8 ; xc. 1. 

" Job xxvi. 11. »* Job xxxviii. 6. 

»* Lucret. ii. 602. Ovid, FastL vi. 269. 

'• Job xxri. 7. Oic. Tnsc. v. 24. The seeming contradiction here implied with 
the theory which supposed the earth to rest on the waters, (see Heiligstedt to t. 5, 
"manes contremiscant sub aquis/*) is a confusion which recurs in manj mythologies, 
especially the Arabian and Greek, between the under world and the subtenene 
waters. The notion of earth "self-poised," ''popderibus suis librata," seemed not 
unnatural to the Greek philosophers. Diog. L. ix. 21. Plut Plac. iii. 15. Anax- 
agorsB Frag. ed. Schaubach, p. 149. See Hirzel and Heiligstedt to Job ad loc. 

" Viig. Gcorg. i. 250. 


going northwards was called by the Hebrews " going up," as to 
go south was to " go down."'" In the north were imagined to 
stand those Atlantean mountains which formed the pillars of 
heaven and of earth. It could therefore only be by an imme- 
diate exertion of Divine power that the north, the highest and 
most mountainous, and therefore the heaviest region of the earth, 
could be supported in space, and be prevented from falling into 
the dark and dismal void of Scheol extended beneath'*, as deep 
below as Heaven is high above'®. This dreary region of Scheol 
is described as a cruel insatiable monster^', the dark pit beneath 
the waters**, from which there is no escape; it is as a prison; 
with bars**, chambers**, and gates**; the house appointed to re- 
ceive the shades of all living**. 

The realm of Scheol was in the south ; on the other hand, the 
habitation of God, the heavenly type of his earthly establish- 
ment on Mount Zion, was sometimes placed in the sides of the 
north upon the mythical mountain of the congregation*^, the 
Persian Alborj, the fable land of gold**, and of that golden splen- 
dour (Schekinah) which only occasionally and imperfectly seen 
by man surrounds God's actual majesty**; or else, in analogy 
with the earthly establishment of Jehovah's dominion in the 
midst of his people was his palace above the heavens and their 
waters**, upon the pinnacle of the earth's circumference'*, 

*• Gen. zzxviii. 1. 

»• Job xxri. 6, 7; xxxviii. 17; x. 21. 

» Job xi. 8. Dent, xxxii. 22. Hesiod, Tb. 720. Apollod. ?. 1, 2. 
'* Cant viii. 7. Prov. xxx. 16. Isaiab v. 14. 
** Job xxTL 5. Psalm czxxv. 6. 

» Job XTii. 16. «• Prov. Yii. 27. 

'* Iiaiab xxxviii. 10. Job xxxviii. 17. 
» Job iii. 13, 19 ; xxx. 28. Numb. xvi. 80. 

** Isaiah xiy. 18, and references in Eosenmiiller's Gfeography, i. 20, of the Engl, 
translation. Gesenins's Isaiah, iv. 822. Ewald, Geschichte, Anhang. 46. 
» Herod, iii. 116. PUn. N. H. vi. 11 ; xxxiii. 4. Lassen. Antiq. i. 772. 
» Job xxvi. 9 ; xxxvi. 82 ; xxxvii. 21, 22. 
*» Psalm xi. 4 ; xxix. 10; civ. 8 ; cxiii. 4. 
'* Isaiah xL 22. 


where be sits behind the real veil of the firmament'^, and look- 
ing down from that lofty eminence upon the earth" beholds its 
inhabitants as grasshoppers^ 


^ Exod. zzxyi. 85. Oomp. Acts yii. 44. Isaiah xzv. 7. 2 Sam. xxii. 12. 
" Psalm cxiii. 5, 6. Dent. xzvi. 15. Isaiah IxiiL 15. 
» Isaiah zL 22.' 


** Omnibus in rebiUy et mazimd in pbysiciSj quid non nt dtins quam quid sit 


CiOEfio, DB Nat. D. i. 22. 

"T*py }ii ^it^imSf t^x'^'*'** ^'^" ^ **f} Quit Xiytf." 

Ghatsippus, in Plutarch de Stoic. BepugnantiiB, cb. 9. 




A NAME may be said to imply two things : an impression or 
conception of which the mind is self-conscious ; and, secon- 
darily, the cause or object of the conception, the latter being 
a mere belief or inference. The latter, the predicated object, is 
not perceived immediately, but only through the intervention of 
the consciousness. We speak of things, but we know only im- 
pressions. Our knowledge of existence is purely hypothetical ; 
and when we speak of matter, of electricity, or of mind, we 
only give a name to the unknown cause of a particular class of 
phenomena. The circle of our real knowledge is confined to 
phenomenal succession and its laws ; these are the proper field 
of intellectual effort, containing all we are capable of compre- 
hending, and all that it profits us to know. If we know no- 
thing of the essence of matter, still less are we able to penetrate 
the constitution of mind. Why, then, attempt to confine the 
idea of the Supreme Mind within an arbitrary barrier, or ex- 
clude fi"om the limits of veracity any conception of the Deity 
which, if imperfect and inadequate, may only be a little more 
so than our own? "The name of God," says Hobbes, "is 
used not to make us conceive him, for he is inconceivable; 
but that we may honour him." " Believe in God, and adore 
him," said the Greek poet', "but investigate him not; the 

' Philemon, Frag. 5. 


inquiry is fruitless ; seek not to discover who God is ; for by 
the desire to know you offend him who chooses to remain un- 
known/** "When we attempt," says Philo, "to investigate 
the essence of the absolute Being, we fall into an abyss of per- 
plexity, and the only benefit to be derived from such re- 
searches is the conviction of their absurdity."' Tet man, 
though ignorant of the constitution of the dust upon which 
he treads, has ventured to speculate on the nature of 
God, and to define dogmatically in creeds the subject least 
within the compass of his faculties. The overwhelming pro- 
blem of Deity, the question which involves and includes all 
others, has generally, by a strange inversion, been agitated be- 
fore them ; and those humbler details of research, from which 
alone the great problem could obtain collateral illustration, 
have too often been overlooked until the mind had pre- 
viously exhausted itself in vain efforts to describe the in- 

But, though a knowledge of the divine essence is impossible, 
the conceptions formed respecting it are interesting as indica- 
tions of intellectal development. To think becomingly of di- 
vinity is the religion of the intellect — the natural religious tri- 
bute of man's progressive capabilities ^. The history of religion 
is that of the human mind ; the conception formed of Deity 
being always in exact relation to its moral and intellectual at- 
tainments. The one may be taken as the index and measure 
of the other. The attempt to scan Almighty power involves 
the necessity of elevating ourselves, as a traveller ascends some 
lower mountain in order to survey the giants of the Alps. 
Every increase of knowledge adds loftiness, if not distinctness, 
to the conception; the gross and the refined, however appa- 
rently levelled and blended under a uniformity of creed or 

' Menander, Frag. 246. Plato, de Leg. rii. 821. " Ttv fuywvn Biw^fur •vn 
^wriiv iu9 tvrt 9r»X»w^yfMfU9 vat turms ifitntnTttf" 

* Pfeiffer, i. 46 ; ii. 268. Ooii£ Romans zi. 88. Job xi. 7 ; zzyi. 14. 

* ApoUon. Tyan. ap. Euieb. Pr. Et. It. 13. Bonians i. 21. Plutarch, Isis and 
Otiris, ch. zi. end. 


worship, must ineyitably vary in their notions of a Supreme 
Being as much as in their respective estimates of happiness or 

In the progress of religious speculation, two notions of Qod 
are generally distinguishable : the positive and negative. The 
latter, or exclusive method, consists in the abstraction of the 
inferior and finite, and is the only way in which, according to 
Philo ', it is possible for man to apprehend worthily the nature 
of Qod* This view contrasts the Divine greatness with human 
littleness, and often employs expressions apparently affirmative, 
such as Almighty, Allwise, Omnipresent, Eternal, &c., but 
which, in reality, amount only to the negation in regard to 
God of those limits which confine the faculties of man*. 
We arrive at this negative and cautious mode of expression 
only when, having exhausted the varieties of symbolism, we re- 
main content with a name which is a mere conventional sign or 
confession of our ignorance ^. But this consciousness of igno* 
ranee is one of the last acquisitions of philosophy. In the imma- 
turity of the intellect names and signs are undistinguished from 
things, and, like the imaginary outline of undiscovered coun- 
tries adopted by mapmakers, mislead the inquirer by inducing 
him to confound a negative cypher with a positive idea. Hence 

' De Somniu, Pfeif. ▼. 84. 

' Of this nature are the definitions, '' M«»«^i« xm) m^ia^H pv^n ««/* h fsM^arra 
fMiTM T« Of Mf ; (Plat. Isis and Osiris, ch. xz.) the v mytJn or ««X«y, the /mvh 
fXtwIi^M pv^is m9T» \m9r9¥ wXnftty mi) ««r« Imor^ t»aw9 ; the M«f rtn iXtn, as op- 
posed to the individual v«vf ; the mrMf, or ^^u^m^tw mtrtw, or simply r« •» ; (Pfei£ 
Philo, ir. 882, 5. 104. Mangey, i. 582. 655), or the r« /un «v, or absolute nothing 
of Proclns and Hegel. Again it was said, " Deus est cui omne quod est est id quod 
est" " God is a sphere whose centre is erery where, and whose periphery no 
where.** " God b he who sees all, himself unseen.** Philemon, Fnig. 68. p. 861. 
Philo admits only a negative symbolism as applicable to the Supreme Being. God, 
he sayi, may be best compared with two of all known things — light, and the human 
■onl ; but this light must be predicated negatively as something dissimilar to ordinary 
light; Kv^MT •» futnt ^ut tTTiv, «XX« JUt) vwvtk Iti^«v ^ttTH m^irvrn, ftmXXw h 
m^tnnfy wftr^urt^f mi) utmrt^n, — De Cherubim, Pfeifiier, ii. 52 ; v. 86. 

' Most of the so-called ideas or definitions of the "absolute** are only a collec- 
tion of negations firom which, as they aifirm nothing, nothing is learnt 


arises the positive or sensuous mode of representation, which, 
comparing the Deity with something either within or without, 
confounds the sign with the thing signified, and blends them in 
some idolatrous form. The character of the worship varies 
with the elevation or triviality of the comparison. God was 
first recognised in the heavenly bodies, and in the elements ; 
each and all of which were worshipped in their turn. The 
Egyptians deified water, the Phrygians earth, the Assyrians 
air, the Persians fire ' ; that is, the reUgious sentiment originally 
derived from the contemplation of nature was, under peculiar 
local circumstances, directed exclusively or nearly so to certain 
selected natural agencies. When man attains a consciousness 
of the dignity of his own being, and reflects upon himself, his 
idea of Deity becomes proportionably modified. The fire or 
water assume the human form, and become Osiris or Vishnou, 
Ormuzd or Apollo. The religion is grovelling or exalted ac- 
cording to the conceptional standard of human existence. The 
first stage of man's self- consciousness fills his mind with the 
imagery of structural or organic being, and the vitality of na- 
ture, faithfully reflecting his appreciation of his own, is a mere 
exaggeration of his bodily instincts and wild passions. The last 
stage of religious development is the matured consciousness of 
intellectuality, when, convinced that the internal faculty of 
thought must be something more subtle than even the most 
subtle elements, he transfers his new conception to the ob- 
ject of his worship, and deifies a mental principle instead of a 
physical one *. 

He is, however, unable to remain long in the regions of ab- 
straction, and, being experimentally acquainted with no spiritual 
existences distinct from his fellow men, his imagination can- 
not picture anything more exalted than a Being similar, though 
more perfect than himself. It has accordingly been remarked 

* Macrob. Sat. i. 20. Oreuz, Comment Her. p. 184. Symb. i. 1. Wisdom 
ziii. 1. 8q. 

• *T^|yMir«» Mail »i a*P(fTM rn 4%9f r# mJ* Xatrrw imm»s Tif ^v^^^ »mi r«i»T*rf 
%9urmfMftfimrmrM. Sext. Bmp. Math. p. 812. 


tliat instead of " God maldng man/' we ought to read '^ man 
made God after his own image;" for, do what we will, the 
highest efforts of human thought can conceive nothing higher 
than the supremacy of intellect; and this, suhjected to the 
realising and plastic power of the imagination, for ever brings 
us back to some familiar type of exalted humanity, such as th( 
dignified aspect of a Greek philosopher, or, as a German writer 
expresses it, the ideal of some eminent university professor. 
Man at first deifies nature, afterwards himself. The gods of 
the Greek Olympus were Homeric princes, whose conclave 
above was the counterpart of the congregation of heroes on 
earth. The Stoic worshipped the divinity of reason ; the god 
of the Epicurean was the perfection of dignified enjoyment and 
repose. The tutelary ancestor of Bome, and the Scandinavian 
Odin, were warriors Uke their worshippers ; and, when the ro- 
mantic gallantry of the middle age had placed an earthly sceptre 
in the hands of woman, the Virgin Mary was promoted to a cor- 
responding dignity in heaven ^°. 

§ 2. 


Such, speaking generally, are the steps by which the con- 
ception of a Deity is naturally developed. The notion of 
Deity, as well as religion generally, is a product of the com- 
bined faculties; the simplest act of devotion implying an 
effort of the reason, and attesting by its universality the 
omnipresence of the faculty which produced it'. Yet the in- 
fluence is so easy and obvious as to appear as an involuntary 

** ApoUo and Arittsus veie shepheidi like those who worshipped them (Apollon. 
Rh. ii. 514), and as Maia's son was called " SvfurXH," Eomaus the swine-herd might 
plaosihly be styled itn, " dirine" {Odyu. xiv. 20. 401, Ac), though there wer» 
other reasons to jostify the epithet. 

■ Man, so called firom the Sanscrit '' Mana," intelligence. Zenoph. Mem. i. 
4. IS. 

VOL. I. 1 


suggestion or intuition; and it may, therefore, be popularly 
though not strictly true to say that religion in its earliest 
form is a feeling rather than an idea, a feeling imaginative 
and poetical, suggested by an external agency, yet without 
as yet any distinct personification of that agency. It is an 
emotion produced in the mind by impressive objects, partly 
by the beautiful, but more especially by the majestic and 
terrific'; and its form becomes gradually determined by the 
class of objects at the time most impressively exhibited, and 
most prominently instrumental in producing it. One of the 
earliest and noblest forms under which the rehgious sentiment 
found a distinct expression was the worship of the heavenly 
bodies', or of the elements; and if the changes of the seasons 
and aspect of the sky form a prominent topic of modem con- 
versation, the same phenomena exercised a yet stronger influ- 
ence over the uncultivated minds to which they were objects of 
superstitious fear as well as of curious speculation. The beam 
of the celestial luminaries might be justly said to have pene- 
trated the intellect*, as having first awakened the idea of a 
Supreme Being; and it was long before the primitive veneration 
in which they were held was superseded by a colder and less 
poetical philosophy*. The " Clarissima mundi Lumina," the 
Liber and Ceres, or Artemis and Apollo of the Greek*, were 
probably the Urotal and AUlat of the Arabian^; they are 
ever foremost among the diversified symbols of natural religion. 
The ancient Persian fi*om the mountain tops addressed his 
hymn or incantation to " the sun, the earth, the fire, or the 
winds;" and, long before he became acquainted with a more 

' " EhtfiaT»vyr0f htvf ttftfiuw Tturan «/ri«v».'* Sezt. Bmpir. Math. p. 812. 
' Plutarch, de Flac. i. 6. Grotius to Exod. xx. 3. WUdom xiiL Clem. Alex. 
Cohort, p. 22. 

* Orens. S. 8. 828. Find. Carm. in Def. Solis, v. 6. Dante, Inferno, i. 18. 
" La pianeta che mena diitto altrui per ogni calle." " Let us meditate," lays the 
holiest verse of the Yedas, " on the adorable light of the divine ruler, Savitri ; may 
he guide our intellects !" Comp. Lassen, Ind. Antiq. i. 808. Menu, xiL 117. 

• Horace, Ep. i. 6. 4. • Virg. Oeorg. L 
^ .Sale's Koran, Disc. p. 11. Herod, iii. 8. Bachr. 


artificial system of theology", invoked "the whole circle of 
the sky " as " Jove," or by whatever name he styled in his own 
language the Zeus Fatroiis of his fathers', a power similar to 
the Uranus of the Phoenician*^ and the Greek, and who may 
be compared with the Indra of the Vedas, and the God of 
Heaven and God of Earth adored by Abraham 'V It has been 
sometimes assumed '^ that the general names which figure at 
the head of old Lheogonies, such as Uranus, are only later 
refinements arbitrarily placed by speculators before the per- 
sonified gods of popular belief. Yet the arrangement is 
justified by the consideration that nothing but a general idea, 
corresponding to the more abstract term, could have answered 
the ill- defined emotions of the earliest religionists ; that Nature 
was deified before man.; and that, although those prior names 
might not at any known time have been popularly worshipped, 
the order of mythical succession was strictly justified by that 
of the mental phenomena, in strict conformity with what we 
know of tlie normal development of uncivilized tribes, as with 
the language of the Vedas^ and the testimony of Herodotus*'. 
On the whole it is indisputable that as mythology was no gra- 
tuitous fiction or wanton invention, but had its necessary basis 
in nature, so those interpreters are in the main right who held 
that the heathen Pantheon, in its infinite diversity of names 
and personifications, was but a multitudinous, though in its 
origin unconscious, allegory, of which physical phenomena, 
and principally the heavenly bodies, were the fundamental 

• Herod, i. 181 ; iii. 16. Strabo, xv. 1064. 

* Xenopb. Cyrop. i. 6. 1. ; viii. 7. 8, possibly tbe same as Onnazd (Aristot. ap. 
Diog. La€rt. Proem, viii.), or Mitbras, a name botb Zend and Sanscrit for tbe sun. 
See Rosen's Big Vedie Specimen, p. 26, n. 8. " Agnis, tu es Varoonas, ta es Mitbras, 
— k te opes cibusqae fiant*' Gomp. Ezra i. 2. 

'• Enseb. Pr. Bv. i. 10. 12. 

" Genet, xziv. 8. Wilson, Trans. Ajiatic Society, xTiii p. 20. Lassen, Ind. Ant 
I 756. 768. 

» Kenrick's Primieval History, pp. 69. 71. Mullens Mytbol. pp. 120. 878. 
TiansL pp. 60. 806. 

" i. 181 ; ii. 62. 

I 2 


types. "These," says Philo Judeeus", "are the real objects 
of Greek worship ; they call the earth Ceres — the sea Poseidon 
— the air Here — the fire Hephaistos — the sim Apollo." These 
were the sort of beings who figured in the East and in the 
Egean Islands as Cabiri; as '* 0«oj /Atyaxoi," " Great Gods," at 
Samothrace; and as "Dii potes" in the books of the Roman 
augurs'*. This, if not the whole truth, is yet a large part of 
it; the same problems differently treated in different places 
and ages, have still preserved a general analogy in the solu- 
tions of them ; and though we cannot always specify the causes 
of the variations, or distinguish in particular cases the histo- 
rical or communicated from the natural and indigenous, all 
mythology may be assumed to have its explanation in the one 
most obivous source of its many fictions and of the common 
feeling which consecrated them. 

§ 3. 


The idea of divinity thus unconsciously derived from Nature, 
and as yet undistinguished from the mind which conceived and 
the objects which suggested it, brought the two into a vague 
but close approximation, and made the universe assume the 
semblance of vital reahty and kindred with its rational inha- 
bitants. The glorious images of divinity which formed 
Jehovah's host', and which the jealous Lord of the Hebrew 
race had himself appointed, or ** divided,"* as permissible w 

objects of worhip among heathen nations, were the '* divine 

>* De Decern. Orac. ii. 189. 

** Lacian, Jup. Trag. vol. ii. p. tS90. Cseaar, B. O. vi. 21. Pherecyd«t, Stm. 
p. 142. Mucrob. Sat. iii. 4. Yarro, L. L. it. 10. Crenz. Oic. de N. D. iii. 22, p. 
604. See the Stoic explanations, D. LaSrt. yii. 147. Menagius, ii. 218. " Jovem 
quidem ant Mercuriom, aliterre alios inter ae Tocari et eise — quis non inCerpretatione 
Naturae fiiteaturl" Pliny, N. H. ii 5. 20. 

' Genes, ii. 1 ; xxxii. 2. ' Dent. iv. 19. 


dynasty,"* or real theocracy which governed the early world; 
and the men of the golden age, whose looks held ooinmeroe 
with the skies % 

" Thoae earthly god&then of hearen's lights. 
Who gave a name to eyery fixed star/' 

and who watched the "radiant rulers bringing winter and 
summer to mortals,"* might be said with poetic truth to live in 
immediate communication with Heaven*, and, like the Hebrew 
patriarchs, to "see God face to face."' The children of 
Uranus and Gaea were fed by their divine parents' on the lap 
of earth out of the granary of the sky", and at the symbolical 
" table of the sun," *" the great Lectistemium of Nature, whose 
meats were earth's unsolicited banquet, mortals and immortals 
partook of the same meal*^, and the patriarch Abraham, the 
" fiiend of God," " was treated by his divine visitors with the 
same condescending familiarity as the " blameless iSthiopians," 
or the Phffiacian Alcinous". Men are said in those days to 
have lived nearer to the Gods**; they were — 

^Kh. Niobe. 

They built altars, that is, on high places ; and^ foUowing the 
immemorial custom of their fathers, worshipped the Idaean or 

* Herod. iL 144. 

* Plato, do Leg. zL 980 (264). " Twt fuv rm ^imp i^nt ra^t nftttfuf" 

* Math. Again, t. * Paui. viii. 2. 

* Genet, zzxii. 80. Odyu. zvi. 161. 

* Hence God is called " a shepherd.'* G^nes. xlyiiL 15 ; zliz. 24. Theopomp. ap. 
JElinm, Y. H. iii. 18. Aiati, Phcen. 114. Porphyry, Abst it. 2. Plato, Politicus, 

* Psalm cv. 40; Izxtul 26. *"* Herod, iii. 18. 
i> Hesiod, Frag. 57. " James u. 23. 

" Horn. Odyss. yii. 201 ; iz. 106. Hes. Theog. 503. " Zens Homestius." 
Soph. Niptra. Frag. 1. See Y. Bohlen's note to Qenes. ▼. 24, on the »pres8ion 
" walking with God." 

'< Porphyry, Abst. 42. Pbto, Phileb. 16. Cicero, Tusc. i. 12. 


Pennine Jove upon his holy mountain. It was then that the 
gods introduced their own worship among mankind; that 
Oannes, Oe, or Aquarius rose from the Red Sea to impart 
science to the Bahylonians^"; that the bright Bull legislated 
for India and Crete"; and that the lights of heaven, per- 
sonified as Liber and Ceres", hung the Boeotian hills with 
vineyards, and gave the golden sheaf to Eleusis". The 
children of men were in a sense allied, or " married," to those 
sons of God'", who sang the jubilee of creation***; and the 
encircling vault with its countless stars, which to the excited 
imagination of the solitary Chaldean wanderer appeared as 
animated intelligences, might naturally be compared to a gi- 
gantic ladder, on which in their rising and setting the angel 
luminaries appeared to be ascending and descending between 
earth and heaven. The story of the air- dwelling Tantalus, 
once the favoured messmate of the gods", may in its dra- 
matic application by the poets represent in part this primitive 
approximation of the worshipper and the worshipped, an em- 
blem of humanity as yet unestranged from heaven ; while by 
pragmatical interpreters the imaginary being was reported to 
have been an astronomer'*, or, hke the Uranus of Diodorus, 
a sage deified for his astral knowledge. The same traditional 
fiction was attached to the memory of the Hebrew patriarch 
Abraham. He who without reproof** had worshipped the 
Most High on the high places of the earth, and who had con- 
templated in the innumerable stars the signs and symbols of his 
own countless posterity, was afterwards supposed to have merely 
been a cold observer of the celestial movements — the scientific 
instructor of the Phcenicians and Egyptians'**. In the opinion 

■* Berosns, Richter, p. 71. Fhotins, Cod. 279. Quigniant, B. ii. 82. 

'* Dherma and Minos. " Yiig. Georg. L 6. 

*" Macrob. S. L 18, 19. » Genes. vL 2. 

*• Job xxxviii. 7. 

*' Find. Olymp. L 87. Nonnos. xyiiL 32. Barip. Oxvstes, Schol. 972. 

" Serv. ad Bclog. Virg. vi. 42. Ciceio, Tnsc v. S. 

" Gesen. to Isaiah, xzxyi. 7. 

•• Buseb. Pr. Bv. ix. 17. 8. Joseph. Ant. i. 8. 2. 


of Philo of Alexandria'* he was originally undistinguished, 
either in hirth or in helief, from the surrounding Ghaldaeans, 
who had immemorially esteemed the starry firmament to he 
God. Like them he worshipped the creature instead of the 
Creator; and, holding all earthly things as connected hy 
eternal links of harmony and sympathy with the heavenly 
hodies, he united in one view astronomy, astrology, and reli- 
gion'*. His first migration to Haran was in ohedience to the 
mandate of God that he should leave off contemplating the 
stars and external nature ; and it was only hy directing his 
attention to that microcosm or narrower world, himself, that he 
at length became acquainted with the True Buler and Guide of 
the Universe. 



The words uniformly rendered by "God" in the authorised 
version of the Bible include essential differences of form and 
meaning in the Hebrew ; sometimes the noun is singular, 
sometimes plural ; when plural, it is sometimes joined with a 
singular, sometimes with a plural verb. The plural is usually 
explained as being pluralia excellentiaB vel majestatis ; the 
** we " of a royal proclamation. But, where the verb as well 
as substantive are plural, then it is allowed that the Scrip- 
tural Elohim is ** a term retained from the usages of Poly- 
theism, and may be considered to mean the higher powers and 
intelligences." * Abraliam, for instance, says " the gods caused 
him to wander from his father's house;"' and at Bethel *' the 

'• 06 MigiBt Abrahami, Hang. i. 11. 14 ; ib. 464. Ffeif. iii. 494 ; y. 260. 

According to Exod. tI. 3. Abraham was do more a worshipper of Jehovah than 
the aathors of the Veda hymns of the Brahminical god \ in all probability he wor- 
shipped the "other gods" of his fiithers (Josh. zxiy. 2. Deut. zyii 3), without 
any absolute abandonment of his claim to be a monotheist 

''• See also Hang. ii. 12. 417. 442. 602. 

' Gesen. W. B. p. 66 trans. ' Genes, xz. 13. 


Gods appeared to Jacob."' The Hebrew God is usually sup- 
posed to be attended by a court resembling the divan of an 
eastern monarch, and, like Jove in the midst of the divine 
conclave of the Iliad *, to be surrounded by a congregation of 
saints and mighty ones/ '^ with all the host of heaven at his 
right hand and at his left."" When, therefore, he is repre- 
sented as deUberadng with others, " Let us make man after our 
image," &c.^ it is reasonable to infer that he addresses the pre- 
sent members of the holy congregation included in the plurality 
of the Elohim, the attendant (rr^mia ovfaviog,^ or sons of the 
gods ', assembled in oriental state around their king '^. Jehovah, 
as tutelar God of Israel, is distinguished firom the general 
company of the Elohim, and emphatically elevated above 
them under the title of " God of gods," or " God of hosts," 
as their supreme presiding chief, who inhabits a dwelling supe- 
rior to the starry firmament, which they are not permitted to 
enter". But the term " heavenly hosts" includes not only the 
councillors and emissaries of Jehovah, but also the celestial 
luminaries''; and the stars, imagined in the East to be ani- 
mated intelligences, presiding over human weal and woe, are 
identified with the more distinctly impersonated messengers or 
angels** who execute the Divine decrees, and whose predo- 
minance in heaven is in mysterious correspondence and rela- 
tion with the powers and dominions of the earth". In the 
148th Psahn, where all the creatures in heaven and in earth 
are summoned to do homage to Jehovah, the angels and hea- 
venly hosts" are so closely approximated, that it is improbable 
they can have been very clearly distinguished in the writer s 
mind, especially when, in the eighth verse, they assume a corre- 

• Genes, xxxv. 7. * iv. 1 ; xx. 4. 

» Paalm Ixxxii. 1. Isai. xiv. 18. • 1 Kings xxii. 19. 

» Gen. i 26. • Luke ii. 18. 

» Beni Elohim. »• Jobi. 6; ii. 1. 

*' Isai. xiv. 18. Gesen. Lex. Tr. 889. 

" G«n. ii. 1 ; xxxii. 1, 2. Deot. iv. 19 ; xrii. 8. Ps, xxxiii. 6. 

'» Genes, xxxii. 1, 2. Job xxviii. 25. »♦ Isai. xxiy. 21 ; xl. 26. 

'* V. 2, 8. 


lation with the earthly elements of fire and hail, snow and 
vapour, themselves in a subordinate sphere made to act as 
exeoutors of the Divine decrees. Correspondingly, in Job^^ 
the morning stars and the sons of God are identified; they 
join in the same chorus of praise to the Almighty ; they are 
both susceptible of joy'^, they walk in brightness", and are 
liable to impurity and imperfection in the sight of God''. The 
potentates of the sky, the appropriate types of all earthly 
authority^^ being thus undistinguishable fix)m heavenly beings, 
the history of the origin of both is supposed to be sufSciently 
explained, when it is said, that '* God by his word made all the 
host of heaven;"''* and the prohibition to worship the one** 
made it unnecessary to lay any express veto on the deification 
of the other. Hence it is that, in the account of creation, the 
sun, moon, and stars take precedence of all other beings in the 
scale of animated nature ; they dwell in the first created light, 
as appropriate inhabitants of heaven, as the birds are fitted for 
the atmosphere, the fish for the water, and land animals for the 
earth. When the personaUty of intermediate beings became 
more generally recognised, it was natural that the " Elohim," 
and " sons of the Elohim," should be interpreted to mean 
angels. Many difficulties were thus avoided or explained. It 
was thus easy to do away with any traces of polytheistic ex- 
pression; to account for anthropistic representations; to sup- 
pose, for instance, that man was created, not literally " in the 
image of God," but after the similitude of angels. Yet it still 
remains open to suppose the coUective Elohim to have had an 
original reference to the heavenly host^ comprehending in the 
plural form all that congregation *' of saints and holy ones, 
of which Jehovah was afterwards recognised as the Creator 
and King; that, firom long-established habit, the term con- 

'• rxxTiiL 7. " lb. 

>• Job xzzi. 26. " Job xy, 15 ; xzy. 6. 

^ Genes, xzxrii. 9. Numb. xxiv. 17. Isai. xiv. 12. 

" Genes, ii. 1. Paolm xxxiii. 6. ^ DeuU ir, 19 ; xvii. 3. 

« i<3S. Job XV. 15; xxxviii. 7. Mattb. xxir. 29. 


tinued to be employed by monotheists as a title of God, and 
even warranted the archaism of confounding the personaUty of 
the angels with the more peculiar and revered name of Jeho- 
vah**; that, in short, "the Elohim" may have originally 
been a collective name for. the *' other gods " worshipped 
by the ancestors of the Israelites '*, including not only 
foreign superstitious forms, but also all that '^host of heaven" 
which was revealed in poetry to the shepherds of the desert, now 
as an encampment of warriors *', now as careering in chariots of 
fire'', and now as winged messengers, ascending and descend- 
ing the vault of heaven to communicate the will of God to 
mankind ''^ 

§ 5. 


The Jews continue to preserve in their traditions obscure 
memorials of an astral worship as having preceded the religion 
of Jehovah*. " The Eternal," said they/ " called forth Abraham 
and his posterity out of the dominion of the stars ; by nature, 
the Israelite was a servant of the stars and bom under their in- 
fluence, as are the heathen ; but by virtue of the law given on 
Mount Sinai he became liberated from this degrading servi- 
tude." The Arabs had a similar legend: they believed that 
previous to the Mahometan revelation evil spirits had with im- 
punity walked through the Zodiac, whence they communicated 
to sorcerers the secrets of Heaven ; this SabsBan period was 
called the " State of Ignorance;"' and, by the process which ever 
makes the Deity of the present the adversary and conqueror of 
the past, the Greek Astrsus, the personification of the starry 

» Ezod. Ui. 2. 4. 6. 

'* Josh. xxiv. 2. Ghsnes. xx. 13 ; xxiv. 7. 

" Mahanaiiii, Genes, zxxii 1. Psalm xxxiv. 7. 

" 2 Kings vi. 17. ^ Genes, xxriii. 12. 

' Orig. Gels. V. p. 236. Porphyr. de Abst iv. p. 885. 

' Bereshith Babba to Genesis, xt. 5. 

' Sale's DiKOurso, p. 10, &c 


sphere, was classed among the hanished Titans who warred 
against the gods^. 

The Nomadic trihes of the interior of Asia were particularly 
distinguished by the form of religion called Sabaism. Long 
before becoming acquainted with the stellar mythology of the 
Greeks, the Arab abiding in the field by night, '' rejoicing in 
the refulgence of moon and stars," ^ had amused his fancy by 
giving names to the more conspicuous astral groups, and names 
taken from the familiar objects of his life, such as ostrich, 
camel, or tent, continued to be preserved with others more 
recently introduced **. Each tribe singled out among the hea- 
venly bodies its favourite gods, and consulted them as omens of 
futurity. From their neighbours of Arabia and Chaldeea, the 
Hebrews may probably have adopted the few names for the 
constellations which they appear to have possessed, and which 
occur characteristically in the pastoral books of Job and Amos, 
the cluster, or Pleiades, the Wain or Bear, and Chesil, or Orion^. 
The passage in which the prophet Amos indignantly denies 
the early existence of a pure Jehovistic religion', proves, says 
a commentator', that the Israelites shared the star worship of 
the Arabs, particularly that of Saturn, to whom the seventh day 
was immemorially consecrated'®. This admission, into which 
the prophet seems to have been led by vehemence of feeling, is 
one of the most remarkable in the Bible, and coupled with other 
explanatory passages, as Jerem. vii. 22, gives a far different 
notion of Hebrew religious antiquity from that commonly enter- 
tained. The prophet is remonstrating on the uselessness of 
mere ceremonial observances; but he goes further; he declares 
that these external ceremonies were not in fact offered to the 
true Jehovah, but to Moloch, or to a star god equivalent to 

* Servius, ad JEneid. i. 136. 

» Iliad, viii. 559. • Gesen. Isai. iii. 457. 

* Ideler, Bedeutong der Stemnamen, p. 264. 

■ Ch. T. 25, 26. » Hitzig, p. 58. 

** The LXX. render the star god in question by the name of Remphan, supposed 
to be the Egyptian Saturn. Winer, R. W. "Saturn." 


Saturn ^\ the same star, says Jerome, still worshipped by the 
Saracens**. This Deity was in all probability metaphysically 
allied to the ^^ devouiing fire" of the Pentateuch. He was not 
the God of the better religion of the prophets*", nor was his 
law the righteous law of the true JehoTah'^. He had two 
aspects; sometimes that of darkness and night''; sometimes an 
appearance of unutterable bnlliancy whose nature is pretty dis- 
tinctly indicated when it is said that under his feet was a " sap- 
phire pavement, as it were the very heaven itself in its clear- 
ness." '" It agrees with this supposition that heads are hung 
up to Jehovah '' against the sun;"'^ that the king of Ai is 
hung up by Joshua before the Lord *' until sun down;"'* that 
the help of Israel comes " in the heat of the day,"'^ and that 
the sun stood still, because "the Lord fought for Israel."'" 
No one would assert that the Gods El, or Jehovah, were merely 
planetary or solar; their symbolism, like that of every Deity, 
was, so fax as we can trace so obscure a subject, coextensive with 
the range of Nature and with the mind of man, reaching from 
a stone ", or even from the depths of hell'*, to the height of 
heaven*', from an inherited superstitious " fear'*" to the notion 
of pure existence"*. It is well known that the ancient Hebrews 
did not deny the reality of other gods, but only asserted the 
superior power and dignity of their own ; so that it is very possible 
that not only sun and stars, but the gods of tiie heathen, such 
as the god of Ekron consulted by Ahaziah, may have been in- 
cluded among those " Eioeim," or companions of Cronus'*, whom 

'^ Banr on Aoumi, p. 369. 

*' On whose " holy ground" Jehovah was first revealed to Moses. Exod« iii 1. 
*' Jerem. t. 12. " Jerem. viii. 8. 

>■ Genes, xv. 12. Ezod. zx. 21. Psalm zcvii. 2. Isai. viii. 19. 22. 
»• Bxod. xxiv. 10. " Numb. xxv. 4. 

'• Josh. viiL 29 ; x. 27. » 1 Sam. xL 9. 

^ Josh. X. 14. Gomp. Isal ix. 1, 2. 20. Esek. i. 27. Hab. iil 4. 
>■ Deut xxxii. 4. 18. 

^ Deut. xxxii. 22. Psalm, exxxix. 8. ^ Job xxii. 12. 

« Genes, xxxi. 42, » Exod. iii. 14. 

^ Enseb. Pr. Et. i. 10. 16. Berosus, Richter, p. 50. Movers^ Phoenizier, p. 
274. Comp. Deut xyii. 8. 


the later writers of the Old Testament place in subordination to • 
Jehovah. Tet it is impossible to deny a direct astrological cha- 
racter to the Power who, seated on the pinnacle of the universe, 
is described as leading forth the hosts of heaven, and tilling 
them unerringly by name and number ^^. The stars of Jehovah 
are his sons*', and " his eyes, which run through the whole 
world, keeping watch over mens deeds."'* His proper temple 
is the world itself *^, of which the Hebrew tabernacle and tem 
pie, like all church architecture, were ultimately imitations'^. 
The citadel of Cronus, reared in so many places from east to 
west) was really the "' flammantia moeniamundi," the pile of the 
celestial spheres in the midst of which God sits upon his burn- 
ing throne, and which was variously mimicked by the ingenuity 
of Titanic builders'*, by Dsedalus in Crete, and by Trophonius 
and Agamedes at Delphi. In visions after the same fashion, 
and perhaps only therein more copiously developing an ancestral 
creed, the later seers of Syria imagined, as the residence of Deity, 
a crystal palace enwreathed in flames, its roof kindling with 
moving stars, with lightnings and fiery cherubs in the midst of 
them. In the centre of the building stood a gorgeous throne 
beaming like the sun; a majestic Being sat on it, whose gar- 
ments were whiter than snow; on him no eye could look, nor 
could any of the myriads who surrounded him venture to pene- 
trate the circle of flame which enveloped his presence". 

While the Babylonians and Egyptians, among much astro- 
logical mysticism, had deduced some really useiul results'^ 
from their observations, the Jews continued to regard the stars 
in a spirit exclusively theological or poetical, and to consider 
them, in conjunction with the elements, rather as animated 

" iBai. xl. 22. 26. » Isai. xiy. 18. Job xxxvSi 7. 

^ 2 Chron. xvi. 9. Zech. it. 10; iu. 9. Prov. xv. 8. Deut. xi. 12. Comp. 
the "miufTt Z«y«f" of Hesiod, and the ''watchers** of Daniel. Lengerke to 
Daniel, pp. 164. 166. 

* Josephus, War, ▼. 11. 2. " Acts vii. 42. 44. Wiad. ix. 8. 

" Movers, Phoenizier. 258, 259. 812. 

» Enoch, ch. xiv. Daniel vU. 9. '• Diod. Sic. i. 50. 


ministers of Jehovah's will, than as mechanical directors of 
days and seasons. The children of Israel were themselves 
supposed to have a certain analogy to the host of heaven, and 
were the earthly representatives of the children of God in the 
sky'*; and since to number the latter was either impossible**, 
or a privilege exclusively divine", so the numbering of the 
former was an act of peril bordering on presumptuous impiety, 
a divine prerogative, permitted to God's representative on earth 
only upon certain conditions". The stars and planets were 
properly the angels. They were both of that fiery or luminous 
composition which by the Stoics, and the ancients generally, 
was supposed to constitute the spiritual or divine nature '^ and 
the etherial or fifth element of oriental writers*". In Pharisaic 
tradition, as in the phraseology of the New Testament*', the 
heavenly host appears as an angelic army, divided into regi- 
ments and brigades, under the command of imaginary chiefe, 
such as Massaloth, Legion, Karton, Gistra, &c., each Gistra 
being captain of 365,000 myriads of stars**. The seven 
spirits " which stand before the throne," spoken of by several 
Jewish writers**, and generally presumed to have been imme- 
diately derived from the Persian Amschaspunds, were ulti- 

^ Genes, xt. 5 ; zxviii. 4. Jerem. zxxiiL 22. 

»• Job xxr. 8. ^ Isai. xl. 26. Genes, xiii. 16. 

'• Oonf. Exod. XXX. 12. Thenius to Samuel, iL 24. 10. Winer, BeaL W. B. 
art. David, vol. i. p. 801, note. 

* Virg. ^neid. tI. 780. Cicero, N. D. iii. 14, Creuser. Herod, iii. 16. Por^ 
phyrius de Abst. ii. 5, p. 108, and de Antro, ch. xi. 2 Kings ii. 11 ; tl 17. Oomp. 
Psalm civ. 4. 

^ Diod. S. i. 11, p. 15. Weasel. Stiabo, xy. 713. Menu, i. 6. According to 
Anaximander of Miletus, the external integument of the heavens was a sphere of 
etherial fire, which, afterwards splitting into fragments, became the sun and stars. 
These he called " ^iXn/Aetrn m^h t^x*^}' spherical flocks of aether. Euseb. Pr. 
Ev. i. 8. Stob. Eclog. Phys. 610. 

*^ Matt xxiy. 29. Luke viii. 30. Oomp. Isai. xxiv. 21. Dan. vr, 85. 

*" Gfrorer Urchristenthum, i. 857. Matt. xxvi. 53. 

^ Tobit xii. 15. Enoch xl. 1. Comp. xxi. 8. Luke i. 19. Bevel. L 4. 20; 
iii. 1 ; iv. 5. Kleuker's Zendavesta, ii. 257. 



mately the seven planetary intelligences, the first (ua vot^a 
the original model of the seven-branched golden candle- 
stick^ exhibited to Moses on God's mountain. The ob- 
servation of signs and worship of the host of heaven were 
frequently made a subject of the remonstrances of the pro- 
phets, and were at last prohibited by the Levitical code of 
the restored Jews; but, before the captivity, they had been 
general practices, and that not only as occasional deviations, 
but in connection with Jehovah worship*'. The custom natu- 
rally exercised a permanent influence over language ; the hea- 
vens were spoken of as holding a predominance over earth, 
as governing it by "signs" and "ordinances,"*^ and as con- 
taining the elements of that astrological wisdom ** more 
especially cultivated by the Babylonians and Egyptians*'. In 
that ancient feeling of a necessary sympathy between the 
physical and moral world which in so many mythologies mar- 
ried heaven to earth, and consecrated a stone as the inven- 
tion or dwelling-place of Uranus, a darkening of the sun 
and moon was predicted at the great day of retribution, and 
the very stars were imagined to have fought in their courses 
against Sisera^'. In an imaginative but unreasoning age, 
figurative imagery becomes mythology; the figure is not a 
mere illustration, but partakes, more or less, of the character of 
a belief. 

Each nation was supposed by the Hebrews to have its own 
guardian angel ^\ and its own presidential star. Accordingly one 

*• Fhilo, de Hundi Opificio. Ffeif. i. 40. 

** Philo, de Vita Mosia. Hangey, iL 151. Joseph. Ant iii. 6, 7. 
** Comp. 2 Kings ir. 23 ; zrii. 16 ; zzi. 8. 5 ; xxiii. 4. Psalm Izxzi 3. IsaL 
zlviL 13 ; IxT. 11 ; bnri. 23. Jerem. viii. 2 ; z. 2. Ezek. zIyL 3. 
*' Job. zzxyiii. 83. Gehes. i 14. 

* Hitaig on Job xzxviiL 36. The word Haialoth, or rather Masaroth, the signs 
of the Zodiac, means literally, " warnings." 

• Wisd. vii. 17. 21. Philo. Mang. i. 19. Herod. iL 82. Lcvit xix. 26. Deut. 
zriiL 10. 14. 2 Chron. xxxiii. 6. 1 Chron. xii. 32. 

** Jndges T. 20. Psalm zviii. 7, &c. 
»> LXX. Deut. xxxii. 8. 


of the chief of the celestial powers, at first Jehovah himself in 
the character of the sun, standing in the height of heaven, over- 
looking and governing all things '^ afterwards one of the angels 
or subordinate planetary genii of Babylonian or Persian mytho- 
^^S7' ^^ ^^ patron and protector of their own nation, the 
*' prince that standeth for the children of thy people." *' In 
analogy with the same opinion presuming universal sympathy 
throughout nature, the discords of earth were accompanied by a 
warfare in the sky'^ and no people underwent the visitation of 
the Almighty without a corresponding chastisement being in- 
flicted on its tutelary angel ^\ 

The fallen angels were also fallen stars ^; and the first allu- 
sion to a feud among the spiritual powers in early Hebrew my- 
thology, where Rahab and his confederates are defeated, like 
the Titans, in a battle against the gods''^, seems to identify the 
rebellious spirits as part of the visible heavens^", where the 
'* high ones on high'*^' are punished or chained '^ as a signal 
proof of God's power and justice. They were monsters of the 
deep, the spawn of the all-genetic ocean, yet with a certain 
correspondence with the sky, the '' xvirn ra bir* ou^avov" as 
rendered by the Septuagint'', who already of old had been 
wounded by Jehovah"'', and who again, at the last day, would 
be made to feel his power*'. God, it is said** — 

■ *> Deut zxxii 9. Job xzvi. 9 ; xxzri. 80 ; xxxvii. 22. Psalm zi. 4 ; cxiiL 4. 
Itai. xL 22. 

^ Dao. zii. 1. 

»* Comp. Virg. Georg. i. 474. Dan. x. 18, 20. Revel, xii. 7. GftGrer Ur- 
christenthniD, i. 872. 

■* Tractat. Sncca. p. 29. Comp. Tibullus £1^. ii. 6. 78. Ovid. Metam. xv. 783. 
Cicero, Orat de Haras. Resp. ch. x. Pliny, N. H. ii. 57. Gibbon, ck xx. 8. 
Vol. iu. p. 264. Ed. 1807. 

" Isai. xiv. 12 ; xxiv. 21. Luke x. 18 ; iL 13. Revel, xii. 4. 7. 9. Ban. viii. 
10, 11. Matt xxiv. 29. 

« Job iv. 18 ; ix. 18. Isai. Ii. 9. " Job xv. 16; xxv. 4. 6. 

** Job xxi. 22. Isai. xxiv. 21. ^ Isai. xiii. 10. Job xxxviii. 31. 

•' Job ix. IS; xxvi. 18. " Isai. Ii. 9. 

•• Isai. xxvii. 1. •* Job xxvL 12. 


** Stirs tlie ms with his might — 
By his understanding he smote Bahah — ^ 
His breath clears the &ce of Heaven, 
His hand pierced the crooked serpent" — ** 

Again^ Job ix. 18 — 

*' CK>d withdraws not his anger, 
Beneath him bow the confederates of Rahab" — 

Now, as Bahab, according to Ewald"^, always means a sea 
monster, these passages probably allude to some such legendary 
dragon as that which in almost all mythologies'* is the adversary 
of heaven, and demon of eclipse ; the monster in whose belly, 
significantly called '^ the belly of hell,"'* Hercules, like Jonah, 
passed three days, ultimately escaping with the loss of his hair, 
or rays^^. Ghesil, the rebellious giant Orion, represented in 
Job^^ as riveted to the sky, was compared to the personifica- 
tion of Assyrian greatness, Ninus or Nimrod^', the mythical 
founder of Nineveh, (city of the fish,) the *' mighty hunter," 
who slew lions and panthers before the Lord^'. Bahab was 
made a representative of vanquished Egypt, as Lucifer, in his 
pride and fall, was a type of the grandeur and destruction of 
Babylon.^\ Bahab's " confederates," unmeaningly called in our 
version of Job, the "proud helpers," are probably equivalent to the 
*' high ones on high," the Chesilim or constellations in Isaiah ^', 
the heavenly host'*, or heavenly powers", among whose number 
were found folly and disobedience '', which would be signally 
punished at the end of the world'*. " I beheld," saysPseudo- 

"* T« mrrffi LXZ* ** '* Afrnxtfrm ««r«rT«r«»/' LXX. 

•* Job, pp. 126. 282. Hitsig's Job, p. 59. 158. Jablonski, Yoc Mg. p. 227. 

** Gomp. Serrius Yiig. Qeorg. L 224. ** Jonah, iL 2. 

*" Tsetses to Lycophion, 88. '* aczxriu. 81* 

** Banr's Amos. t. 851. Gesenins to Isal, vol. iiL 458. 

*' Hesiod, Flag. 67. Died. 8. ii. 8. 

'* Isal xiT. 12. 

** Knobel to Isaiah, zziy. 21; ziiL 10; comp. Job xxi. 22; zzr. 5; xzri 12. 

^ Luke li. 18. ^ Matt xxiy. 29. 

** Job IT. 18 ; XT. 15 ; xzr. 2. . " Matt. zzy. 41. Bev. xz. 8. 10. 



Enoch '^ seyen stars^like great blazing mountains, and like 
spirits, entreating me. And the angel said, This place, until 
the consummation of heaven and earth, ^11 be the prison 
of the stars, and of the host of heaven. These are the stars 
which overstepped Grod's command before their time arrived; 
and came not at their proper season '^ ; therefore was he offended 
with them, and bound them, until the time of the consumma- 
tion of their crimes in the secret year." And again'*: "These 
seven stars are those which have transgressed the command- 
ment of the most high God, and which are here bound until 
the number of the days of their crimes be completed." " 

It was probably from ancient association and custom that 
Jewish and early Christian writers were led to look on iho 
worship of the sun and the elements with comparative indul- 
gence'^. Justin Martyr and Clemens Alexandrinus admit that 
God had "appointed"'* the stars as legitimate objects of 
heathen worship, in order to preserve throughout the world 
some tolerable notions of rational religion", astrolatry being 
the noblest kind of fetichism. The use of natural symbols 
appeared to be divested of the gross deformities of idol- 
woiBhip, and to be as it were a middle point between hea- 
thenism and Christianity. Christianity itself had adopted 
emblems and observances which caused it to be regarded by 
many as a mere form of sun worship. Christ was the " sun of 
righteousness" prophesied by Malachi", the "light of the 
world," the " day spring ifrom on high. "" His advent, con- 
formably to the oracle of Balaam, was announced by a star 

^ Gh. xriiL On the oonoealment of the time, Comp. Matt 24. 86. Mark 18. 82. 
•» Conf. Plato, Timwiu, pp. 40, 44. Politicui, 278 (269). Phadrna, 247. 
StobsB, Eel. Phys. ii. pp. 986. 938. 
^ Ch. 21. " Their crimes,** meaning the "punishment for their crimes." 
*^ Comp. GMnr Urchristenthnm, L 894. 

^ Wisd. ziil 6. Philo, de Decem. Oibc. ii. 191. Origen. Gels. B. 8. p. 422. 
" Deut iv. 19. 

*" Justin. Tryph. p. 274. 849. Clem. Alex. Strom, vi. 795. 
•» iy. 2. 
" Xuke i. 78. Matt. \y. 16. Bphea. y. 8. 14. 


from the east, and his natiTity was celebrated on the shortest 
day of the Julian calendar, the day when, in the physical com- 
memorations of Persia or Egypt, Mithras or Osiris was newly 
found. It was then that the acclamations of the host of 
heaTen, the unfailing attendants of the sun, surrounded, as at 
the q»ring dawn of creation '^ the cradle of his birth-place, 
and that, in the words of Ignatius *^ *' a star, with light inex- 
pressible, shone forth in the heayens to destroy the power of 
magic and the bonds of wickedness; for Ood himself had 
appeared^ in the form of man, for the renewal of eternal life." 

§ 6. 


It is impossible to assume any period of time at which the 
Tagne sense of Deity ceased to be a mere feeling, and assumed 
a specific form or became an '' idea." The notion of external 
power must haye been almost instantaneously associated with 
some external object; and the diyersified reflections of the 
diyine easily came to be looked on as substantiye and distinct 
diyinities. But, howeyer infinite the yaiiety of objects which 
helped to deyelope the notion of Deity, and eyentually usurped 
its place, the notion itself was essentially a concentrated or 
monotheistic one. .A yague monotheism resided in the earliest 
exertion of thought^; being nearly identical with that impres- 
sion of unity and connection in sensible phenomena which in 
its simplest form appears to arise independently of any efibrt of 
philosophical comparison. The power of generalization, or of 
seeing the one in the many, that first element both of science 
and of religion, is so nearly innate or instinctiye as to haye 
been termed by Plato a diyine or Promethean gift*; and the 

** Job xzzyiii. 7. "* To the Bphenaiif, 19. 

' '' N*pr d|v; *mt tmuniTtf, nXh nmt ttf t/mpm^n rw «'«rT«f. Sext. Bmp. Math. 812. 
Neander, Hiit. Chr. p. 5. lambliohiu, de Mytt Tiii. 2. Platarch, Isis and Osiru, 
cK zzi Lactant. Inst. iL 1. 

' Pbilelnii, 16^ 

K 2 


philosophical conception of the oneness of the universe and of 
its author', usually regarded as the last acquisition of civilization 
and reflection, appears to have heen anticipated hy a natural 
revelation, an indefinite dread of the aggregate of supersensuous 
nature which is said to he common even among 6avages^ In 
this indefinite feeling must he sought, if anywhere, that concep- 
tional monotheism of primitive ages, which, like the virtues of 
the golden age, makes every succeeding epoch, unless it he the 
present, appear only as a stage in the progress of degeneracy 
and aherration. The genius of religion, apostrophised hy 
Shelley*, — does not wait for the cooperation of science in 
order to commence her task, the powers of combination are 
at work long before the maturity of the reason eventually 
found necessary to guide them ; nay, the origin of religion, like 
that of civilization, may be said to be free firom many of the 
corruptions attending its onward progress, which arise firom 
the mind's inability to deal unembarrassed with the multi- 
plicity of sensuous analogies. Generalisation begins before 
a sufficient basis has been prepared to make it legitimate, 
and every successive step in the research into particulars seems 
to be in mysterious contradiction to the first hiirried con- 
clusion. Hence the universal blending of monotheism with 

• Plato, TinuBus, SI*. Stobae, Bclog. Phys. Her. i. 860. 

* Homboldt, Koimos, p. 17. 

' Thine eager gaze scanned the stupendous whole. 
Whose wonders mocked the knowledge of thy pride; 
Their everlasting and unchanging laws 
Reproached thy ignorance. Awhile thou stoodst 
Ruffled and gloomy ; then thou didst sum up 
The elements of all that thou didst know. 
The changing seasons, winters' leafless reign. 
The budding of the heaven-breathing trees. 
The eternal orbs that beautify the night. 
The sunrise, and the setting of the moon. 
Earthquakes and wars, and poisons and disease, 
And all their causes, to an abstract point 
Converging thou didst bend, and call 'd it Qod t 


polytheism, and the impossibility of discoyering historically 
which of the two is older or more original. Amon or Osiris 
presides among the many deities of Egypt ; Pan, with the 
music of his pipe, directs the chorus of the constellations', 
or Zeus leads the solemn procession of the celestial troops in 
the astronomical theology of the Pythagoreans ^. " Amidst an 
infinite diversity of opinions on all other subjects," says 
Maximus Tyrius', '* the whole world is unanimous in the belief 
in one only Almighty King and Father of all." Even in the most 
»8thetical Polytheistic forms there is always a sovereign power, 
a Zeus, or Deus, Mahadeva, or Adideva, to whom in analogy 
with human governments, that is, on moral as weU as meta- 
physical grounds, belongs the maintenance of the order of the 
universe. Homer's Jove is alone able to cope with the united 
strength of all the other gods ; he assigns to each of thepi their 
respective offices and duties*; and his superiority to Fate is 
proportioned to the distinct recognition of his Divine person- 
ality^^. Among the thousand gods of India, the doctrine of 
Divine unity is never lost sight of" ; and the aethereal Jove, 
worshipped by the Persian in an age long before Xenophanes 
or Anaxagoras^', appears as supremely comprehensive and inder 
pendent of planetary or elemental subdivisions as thei " Vast 

■ Crenzer, Symb. il ISO'. * Plato, Phaedrai, 246. 

' DiMert xTiL 6. 

* JBflchyL Prom. 229. 442. Hei. TLeog. 898. 425. 885. 

'* Hence he ii called Ut^ytrms (Pans. y. 15 ; x. 24), and the Mm^m are hia 
daughters (Hes. Th. 904. Pind. 01. xii. 8), and, though for dramatic effect his per- 
sonal inclinations are sometimes represented as half reluctant, 

yet, on the whole, his will is identical with Fate (r« f»^tfU9 Auh*, Pind. Nem. 
It. 99. Bnrip. ap. StobsB. Phys. I 6. 10, p. 170). When, however, Zena is a 
anbordinate link in the scale of hieratic emanations or generations, Afmymn {JRachyl, 
Prom. Bloom£ 527) and the Uuftu become his superiors, as children of primseTal 
Kight. (Hedod. Th. 217.) 

" Gnigniaat, B. i. 172. Bagvat Oita, pp. 70. 79. 81. " They who worship other 
gods," says Chrishna, " inyolnntarily worship even me." 

" Herod. L 131. Burip. Fragm. Inoert L Aristotle, Metaph. i. 5. 12. 


one/' or " Great soul" of the Vedas". The Chaldsan anoestor 
of the Hebrews may have been a monotheist in the same 
general sense; he worshipped one God, " the maker of heaven 
and earth/' as did also Pharaoh, Melchisedek^ and Abimelech^^ 
This simplicity of belief, however, did not exclnde the employ* 
ment of symbolical representations. The patriarchs and their 
attendants assigned a visible fonn to the Almighty, they saw 
and spoke to him^', and believed him to be present in images 
and stones^*. The mind cannot rest satisfied with a mere feel- 
ing ; the feeling ev^ strives to assume precision and durability 
as an ^' idea," or by whatever name we choose to call the ob- 
jective delineation of its thoughts. All ideas are in their origin 
sensuous; even those which are above and beyond the senses 
require the aid of the senses for their expression and communi* 
cation. Hence the necessity for those representative forms and 
symbols which constitute the external investiture of every reli* 
gion; and which, though the religious sentiment is essentially 
one, make its forms as various as the possible modes of its ex* 
pression, branching into an infinite diversity of creeds and 
rites. All religious expression is symbolism, since we can de- 
scribe only what we see, and the true objects of religion are 
unseen. Religious forms differ according to external circum- 
stances and imagery, or again according to differences of know- 
ledge and mental cultivation ; the annals of their development 
are those of ethnography and education. The earliest instru- 
ments of education were symbols, the most universal symbols 
of the multitudinously present Deity being earth or heaven, or 
some selected object such as the sun or moon, a tree or a stone, 
familiarly seen in either of them. Symbols addressed to the 

^ Oomp. Colebiooke*! Amtia Bm. viii. p. 895. Gnoier, Symli. L p. 19& 
Ariatot Hetaph. ziii. 4, "«v ^mirM rfM>«» m^i^rtt," 

^* Genes, xiv. 18, 19; zx. 8. 23; zxiv. 31. 60; xxri. 28. Comp. BnteV. Pr. 
Bt. i. 10. 6. Boebut Geogr. iL 2, p. 706. 

'^ GkneB. xri. 18 ; xzii. 14 ; with Gomiiieiit. 

*' Qenes. zzxL Sa 84 ; zzxv. 2. 


ear followed the more obvious and imposing ones addressed to 
the eye; but, though susceptible of more precision, they were 
less effectiye, less obyious and impressive than the others, the 
painted or sculptured forms despised by the philosopher being 
the only modes of communication which the ignorant can com- 
prehend ^^ The earliest religious language imitated the pic- 
turesque and impressive concentration of the visible symbol ; 
it attempted to paint to the ear what had before been imaged 
forth to the eye ; being at first a mere appendage or legendary 
explanation of its predecessor, until at last it expanded into a 
variety of narratives whose true object and meaning were gra- 
dually forgotten. In the advance of reflection, the figurative 
or mythical langaage, which had ceased to satisfy because it was 
no bnger understood, was abandoned for expressions of a more 
severe or negative kind, and more and more approaching the 
language of philosophy. But, as the language of philosophy 
itself is only a more refined symbolism, so the most abstract 
expression for Deity which language could supply was only a 
sign for an object unknown, one which could be called more 
truthful and adequate than the terms Osiris or Yishnou only as 
being less sensuous and explicit Those symbols of Deity are 
the most appropriate and durable which, vague metaphysically, 
have a positive significance only in a relative or moral sense. 
In his general relation to mankind, Grod may still be styled 
" Sovereign" or " Father;"" as also by such titles as "Exten- 
sion" and "Time;" or the "Beginning, middle, and end;" he 
** whose &ce is turned on all sides;"" the foundation and the 
pinnacle;" the "source of life and death." The special cir- 
cumstances which of old gave to the general idea a sped- 

^ Clem, Alex. Strom, ii. p. 429« See p. 108, vol. il pt« 8 of the Appz. to 
Elenkei^t Zendavesta. 

^ Tke ■ymbol of a parent and bis fassaij was one of the earliest and most videly 
med symbols of the Deity. ChampoUion says, " Le point de Depart de la Mytho- 
logie Bgyptienne est one triade formee des trois parties d'Amon-Ba— savoir — Amon le 
m&le et le pere ; Mouth k femelle et la m^re, et Khons le fils enfimt. Cette triade 
s*etant manifestee snr la terre, se resont en Osiris, Isis, et Horns." 

*' Bsigrat Qita, p. 87. 


fically appropriate fonn may still authorize the same compari- 
sons. To the thirsty wanderer of the desert God is still the 
refreshing water; to the mariner, the rudder and anchor'^; by 
the Hindoo, he may still be compared with the immoveable 
Himalaya*', the undying lotus floating on the waters, or the 
Aswattha or Fipala tree whose lofty boughs strike root down- 
wards, and spread from a single trunk into a forest; the Persian 
comparison by which he was likened to the Sun, or the type of 
the all-generating orb*', suggested by the habits of the Egyptian 
scarabeeus, still retain a part of their original aptitude. Among 
the picturesque variety of ancient religious forms arising out of 
the infinite multiplicity of symbolism, those which stand at the 
extremes of the mental scale, the first worship of the uneducated 
feelings, and the worship of philosophy, are the purest and the 
least artificial in their imagery; the one employing but not yet 
enslaved by the means it used for its expression ; the other 
arising when the mind, having exhausted its ingenuity in efforts 
of comparison, and having discovered their inadequacy, recoiled 
from the unprofitable task, and contented itself with a negative 
or abstract cypher for that which it confessed its inability to com- 



Symbolism thus performed a useful intermediate ofiBice in the 
education of the mind. It was the indispensable condition of all 
affirmative expression respecting Deity, a necessary stage in the 
transition from a mere feeling towards philosophy. Nor were its 
effects absolutely and unavoidably demoralising. Aboriginal 
man may have enjoyed the imaginary privilege of personal con- 
ference with God, without those disastrous consequences to 
mind or body afterwards anticipated by superstition \ He 
might recognise the Divine presence under a variety of appear- 

» Max. Tyr. Diss. viii. ^ Bagvat Gita, p. 86. 

^ Hoiapollo, i. 10. Herod ii. 73. ' Exod. xxiv. 10. 11. 


ances ; in the eyening breeze of Eden^ the whirlwmd of Smai^ 
or the stone of Bethel, without resigning the simple mono- 
theism of Abimelech or Abraham. God might be identified 
with the fire*, or thander^ or the immoveable rock adored in 
ancient Arabia ^ without ceasing to be maker and ruler of 
heaven and earth. Hence, with an inconsistency perhaps un- 
avoidable, the wandering Hebrews of the wilderness are said to 
have been worshippers of Jehovah only', and yet, at the same 
period, to have been idolaters, or star-worshippers'; for it is 
the very nature of the symbol, as distinguished fi'om the alle- 
gory, that there should be no severance between the image and 
the idea. 

In the Hebrew books, as in Indian and Egyptian, the image 
of the Deity is reflected in all that is pre-eminent in excel- 
lence^; Jehovah, like Osiris and Baal, is seen in the Sun*, as 
well as in the stars, which are his children'; his ''eyes," 
*' which run through the whole world, and watch over the 
sacred soil of Palestine firom the year's conmiencement to its 
close ."'^ Again, he is the loftiest and most remote among the 
planets", presiding over the dies Saturni, or seventh day", 
allowing his fellow-luminaries to be represented by the lamps 
of the seven-branched candlestick". He is the wind sighing 

* Dent. IT. 24. ' Paalm zziz. 3. 

* Dent zxziL 4. 18. 30. Max. Tyr. Till 8. 

* Beat zzzu. 10 ; zzvi. 5. Hos. xiii. 5. Jerem. zzzi. 2. 
' Pnlm xcT. 10. Amos r. 25, 26. Bzek. zx. 8. 18. 

' Comp. Bagrat Gita, ch. 10. " Among the Adityia«/* aayn Crishna, " I am 
VuknoQ, the radiant Son among the stars ; among the waters I am Ocean ; among 
the mountains, the Himah&ya, and among the mountain tops, Meru/* &c. Comp. 
Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, IL 64. 

* Comp. Numb. xzt. 4. Joshua Tiii. 29 ; z. 27. 1 Sam. zL 9. 

* IsaL ziY. 13. Job zzzviii. 7. Plut. Isis and Osiris, 48. 

^ Zach. iy. 10. Beut. zi. 12. The knguage of Zechariah is ezactly that of the 
Zendayesta. Eleuker, pt. 2, p. 257. 

" Amos y. 26. 

" Comp. howeyer, Ewald, Be Feriarum Hebra. orig^ne, in the Comment Societ. 
Gdtting. Recent, yol. viii. pp. 182. 189, and Anhang to Geschichte d. Y. I. p. 107. 

" Josephus, Ant iii. 6. 7. Comp. Isis and Osiris, 48. 


mnong the mulberry trees, the terrifio fire of Mount Sinai, and 
of the burning bush; or again, he is the water, as well as be- 
Btower of the water, which bursts from the rock beneath his 
feet ^\ the " living vision" of fainting Hagar", for ever served 
with tributary symbolical libations of his own gift". 

The sacred fire of Persia was kindled sometimes on the bare 
ground, sometimes on the Dadgah, which, however, seems not 
to have been, in the Greek sense, an altar, but rather itself an 
image of deity, surmounted by the domed Ateshgah'^, emble* 
matic of the vault of heaven. Sometimes the sacred flame 
burned upon the tops of lofty mountains, under the real temple 
of the universe, or canopy of heaven". The Hebrew God, 
the God of the Burning Bush, takes his station on the rude 
stone which was his legitimate altar", or descends in fire upon 
a mountain top *^; and when the offerings of Manoah and 
of Gideon have been deposited on certain rocks'^ a flame, the 
"' fire of the Lord '^ for it is equally God's fire, whether issuing 
firom above or from below'*, is seen to rise from the stone and 
consume the sacrifice. 

. The Persians, those Puritans of Paganism '^ are said to have 
worshipped one God, and to have originally treated the ele- 
ments alone as his visible symbols'^; afterwards their sym- 

^* Bxod. xvii 0. Numb. xx. 8. Judg. yii. 4. Ini zliii. 20. Jcvem. ii. IS ; 
zYiL 18. 

'* Genes, zvi. 14 ; zxi. 10. John iv. 10 ; yii. 27, with Comment 

" Gomp. 1 Sam. yii. 6. 2 Sam. i. 21. 1 Kings 18. 41, and the libations of the 
Feast of Tabemades. Winer, B. W. toI. ii 9. The idea of an *' expression of humi- 
lity** — 2 Sam. xir. 14. Psakn zxii 14. Lament iL 19 — ^was probably deriTativ6 
from thorite. 

" Zendavesta, by Eleuker, Th. iil p. 27. 

» Grenser, 8. 1 272, 278. » Bxod. xx. 24, 25. 

* lb. xix. 18. « Jndg. vi. 20 ; xiii 19. 
** Lent ix. 24 ; x. 2. 1 Kings xviii 88. Psalm xcvii. 8. 

** Dent. iy. 86. Numb. xvi. 86. Job i. 16. 1 Ghron. xxi. 26. 

** Payne Knight, ancient art, 8. 92. Davis to Cic. de Leg. ii. 10, p. 288, Creos. 

* StiBbo, XT. 782. Heiod i 181 ; iil 16. Brissonius de P. P. il 14. Um^ 
myaXfim t^npu^, msu^tn'n, minfmyv. Max. Tyr. Diss. viiL 4. Oi«f« myrnXfimTM 
fuvm wv^ xtt\ v\t^. Clem. Alex. Piotr. ▼. 65. 


bolism became more complicated; all the powers of heayen 
were reproduced on earth '* ; Ahriman was the Martichoras or 
great Dragon ; his Deves the Gryphins of Tooran ; Eorosch, 
the king of birds, Ormnzd himself; the Amschaspands and 
Izeds were clothed in those manifold wings of the chemb 
which they still bear on the monuments of Morghab or Per- 
sepolis'^. Hebrew theism became similarly inyolyed in sym- 
bolism and image worship. We know from the New Tes- 
tament*', as well as from Josephus and Philo, that the taber- 
nacle and its accessories, the altar and candlestick, were made 
in strict conformity ''to the pattern seen upon the Mount;" 
that they were *' images of heayenly things ; " that is, that they 
were an attempt to express the religion of the uniyerse by a 
mimicry of its elements and architecture '*. The piacular lid 
of the ark, with its grotesque cherubim, the strictly limited 
numbers of pillars and curtains, the yeil with its blue, purple, 
and scarlet tissue concealing the sanctuary of the inyisible, are 
a cosmical mythus of which we guess the general character 
though we may haye lost the exact details ^. The orthodox 
establishment tolerated not only the use of emblematic yessels, 
yestments, and cherubs, of sacred pillars and Teraphim *\ but 
symbolical representations of Jehoyah himself, and those not 
confined to poetical or illustratiye language. Notwithstanding 
the repeated assertions in the law of God's jealousy and his 
hatred of images'*, we find repeated traces of attempts to 
represent him confirmed by his own testimony through his 

* Biog. Laert. Pro. 6. Cic de Leg. ii. 10. Herod yiii. 109. Creuzer, Symb. i 

^ Guigniaiit, Bel. Plates, figs. 128, 124. 

* Hebrews im. 5, 

* Oompb Joseph. War. t. 11. 2. Wisdom, ix. 8« Nork's Dictionaiy, art TempeL 
Creuer, Symb. i. p. 172. 

^ Origen de Princip. iv. 166. 

" Hos. iiL 4. 1 Kings viL 21. Luciao, De Dek Syr. cb. 16. Movers, PhoBnisier, 
S92. Babr, der Salomoniacbe Tempel. p. 118. 
" Deal. XYi. 22. 


prophets ", as well as by the prohibitions inserted in his laws'^; 
the symbolical calf worship of Dan and Bethel continued to 
the end of the Israelitish kingdom ; and even in the Judaean 
establishment the prohibition of images was not, says Gro- 
tins ", so peremptory as to exclude the divine prerogative of 
making an exception. God therefore admitted cherubim into 
the holy place, and allowed the bulls and lions of Solomon's 
brazen sea; and by precept extraordinary, says TertuUian"*, 
he ordered the construction of the brazen serpent Nehushtan "^ 
which continued to be worshipped as an emblem of God, *' the 
Healer and Saviour," " to the days of Hezekiah. Men cannot 
worship a mere abstraction; they require some outward form 
in which to clothe their conceptions, and invest their sym- 
pathies. The reUgious sentiment, nourished through the senses, 
in return dignifies their objects, and communicates a sacred- 
ness to everything which it employs for its illustration. The 
grotesque and complex forms which in an oriental idol shock 
the taste, or ba£9e the curiosity of research, are the sacred 
records of ancient metaphysical theology. They often sacri- 
fice the instinct of mere sensuous beauty to the desire to 
embody the infimte, and to convey by multipUed, because in- 
dividually inadequate symbols, a notion of the divine attributes 
to the understanding. The visible and tangible, through the 
medium of which the idea of the divine was first discovered, 
continued to be employed for the purpose of representing it 
in forms the most easily appreciated and recognised'*. A 
material in itself symbolical received the human form, colossal, 
like the ancient idols of the Buddhists, in the attempt to express 

^ Amos T. 26. Psalm zcy. 10. 

^ Exod. XX. 4. Deat. xtL 22, very diffeientlj observed in later times. Joseph. 
War. ii. 9. 2. 

« To Bxod. XX. 4. » De Idolatr. 

»' 2 Kings xviii. 4. » Exod. xv. 26. Wisd. xvL 17. 

* Coi— opus est yidere quod teneat, ne inane fort^ sit quod obscorum.non 
videtur. Amob. in Gent. vi. 8. 


God's illimitable greatness ^°; or in a shape more readily car- 
ried and appropriated as national or household gods, whose 
emblematic figures consecrated in temples and dwellings were 
both the instructors and protectors of men, the records of iheir 
belief, and the talisman of their safety ^^ And ''if in the 
desire to obtain some faint conception of the Uniyersal Father, 
the nameless lawgiver, men had recourse to words or names, to 
silyer or gold, to animals or plants, to mountain tops or flow- 
ing rivers, every one inscribing the most valued and most beau- 
tifiil things with the name of Deity, and with the fondness of a 
lover clinging with rapture to each trivial reminiscence of the 
beloved, why should we seek to reduce this universal practice 
of symbolism, necessary indeed, since the mind often needs 
the excitement of the imagination to rouse it into activity, 
to one monotonous standard of formal propriety? Only let 
the image duly perform its task, and bring the divine idea with 
vividness and truth before the mental eye ^' ; if this be effected^ 
whether by the art of Phidias, the poetry of Homer, the 
Egyptian hieroglyph, or the Persian element, we need not 
cavil at external differences, or lament the seeming futility of 
unfamiliar creeds so long as the great essential is attained, that 
men are made to remember, to understand, and to love."^' 

There are, however, dangers inseparable from symbolism, which 
countervail its advantages, and afford an impressive lesson in 
regard to the similar risks attendant on the use of language. The 
very means necessary to familiarize the mind with objects of reli- 
gious contemplation are as apt to bewilder as to enlighten it. 
The imagination, invited to assist the reason, usurps its place, 
or leaves its ally helplessly entangled in its web. The strong 
tendency to assign reahty and objectivity to the merely con- 
ceptional misleads in proportion to the prevailing ignorance of 
psychological laws; names which stand for things are con- 

^ Bitter, YorfaaUe, p. 886. 

« Lerit, xxtL 11. Herod. 1 164. lau. xli. 7. Wild. xiiL 15. 

*' n#«f^ X^^y^fY*^ *"** **^ *^ 'CH OMi^nirif. 
*' Max. Tjrriui. Dinert. viii. 10. 



! founded with them; the means are mistaken for the end; the 
! instrument of interpretation for the object Symbols thus came 
to usurp an independent character as truths and persons^; 
and> though perhaps a necessary, they were at best but a dan- 
'l gerous path, through which to approach the Deity; in which 
I '* many, mistaking the sign for the thing signified, fell into a 
I ridiculous superstition, while others, in avoiding one extreme, 
plunged into the no less hideous gulf of irreligion and im- 
piety."** The tendency to reaction, produced by these cor- 
ruptions, has always stirred up the zeal of reformers, whether 
prophets or philosophers, to break through established forms, 
and either to restore the wholesome simplicity of original be- 
lief, or, at least, a creed more in uuison with the advance of 
knowledge, more intelligibly founded in reason and nature. 
Such was the true mission and meaning of Mahomet and 
Buddha, of Xenophanes and Zoroaster*' ; of St. Paul, who, in 
bis address to the Athenians, complains not of their irre- 
ligion, but of their superstition*', and desires to replace their 
polytheism by a higher pantheism*'. These great reformers, 
as well as the Hebrew prophets, deeply felt the intellectual 
mischief arising out of a degraded idea of the Supreme 
Being ; and they claimed for their own God an existence or a 
personality distinct from the objects of ancient superstition. 
They disowned, in his name, the rites that had been offered to 
him, and the symbols and images, images of ''abomination*' 
and " jealousy," *• which profaned his temple. They were thus 
led expressly to deny the most cherished boast of their country- 
men, the authenticity and antiquity of their laws, and the 

** Buaeb. Pr. Bv. i. 9, 10. 15. 20. Tbe " itokvitf wA^ffr* ib here described ai 
originAting among the PhoenicianB and Egyptians, and it would be difficiilt to proYe 
the assertion of a modem writer, that *' Bnrope owes its alphabet to the only nation 
which in remote ages preserved itself from the use of symbols." Donaldson, New 
Cratylus, p. 50. 

« Pint law and Osiris, 67. *• Strabo, xn. p. 761. 

^ Acts zvii ^ Comp. Joseph. Apion, L 12. 

^ Psalm IxzYiii. 58. Esek. yiii. 8; zziii 89; xliv. 7. Jerem. zxiiL 11; 
vii 11. 


purity of their early worship *^ Impressed with this important 
truth, they were insensible to danger, and were impelled by an 
irresistible and apparently superhuman influence to utter their 
conyictions. In the ardour of their beneficent enthusiasm^ 
they implicitly belieyed the burden which oyermastered their 
minds and prompted their utterance to be a revelation of divine 
truth. They were not aware that the mind is most secure when 
least self-confident, and that the real essence of their mission 
was not to replace one hallucination by another, but to con- 
vince it of its proneness to self-delusion, and to recall it from 
confounding its own imaginations with realities. They saw 
not that the utmost which can be effected by human effort is to 
substitute impressions relatively correct for others whose false- 
hood has been detected, and to replace a gross symbolism by a 
purer one. Every man, without being aware of it, worships a 
conception of his own miud ; for all symbolism, as well as all 
language, shares the subjective character of the ideas it repre- 
sents. The reverential feeling which constitutes the religious 
sentiment is guided by a true and eternal instinct; but the 
modes or forms of its manifestation are incomplete and progres- 
sive; each term and symbol predicates a partial truth, and 
imperfectly describes the relation of the worshipper to the wor- 
shipped; remaining always amenable to improvement or modi- 
fication, and, in its turn, to be superseded by others more correct 
and comprehensive. Hence the Umits of idolatry, or false wor- 
ship, are as difficult to determine as those of insanity. It be- ; 
comes criminal only relatively to the condition and capabilities J 
of the mind which practises it. The sin it involves is a sin 
against knowledge, or against intellectual caution'^; it is the 
confounding the symbol with the thing signified, the substitu- 
tion of a material for a mental object of worship, after a higher 
spiritualism has become possible ; it consists in an ill-judged 
preference of the inferior to the superior symbol ; it is not so 
much a traitorous desertion of the Almighty, as an inadequate 

** Amos T. 26. Peat xxxii. 17. Esek. xz. 8. 16. 24. Acta m. 42. 
*i llomam i. 21. 




and sensual conception of him ; for the mistaken worshipper 
acknowledges no higher power than that before which he bows, 
and the Baal whom he substitutes for Jehovah is still to his 
imagination God. The same god may be honoured under in- 
numerable forms or names, each of which may have its value 
in proportion to the sincerity of the worshipper, and the fitness 
of the adopted denomination to suit itself to the actual capa- 
city of his mind. " All idolatry," says Carlyle, " is only com- 
parative, and the worst idolatry is only more idolatrous." The 
conception of Deity varies with every grade of civilization; and, 
as every mind must be regarded as less than sane in comparison 
with the Supreme mind, so every religion may be said to be 
idolatrous in so far as it is imperfect, and to substitute a feeble 
and temporary idea in the shrine of that undiscoverable Being 
who can be known only in part, and who can, therefore, be 
honoured even by the most enlightened among his worshippers 
only in proportion to their limited powers of understanding his 
perfections. The true essence of idolatry is a lethargy of mind, 
and the arrest of its development through an ignoble subjec- 
tion either to the senses or to authority. But the sterility of 
the desert is no disgrace to the Arab. It is not the ignorant 
savage, poor in resource and in opportunities of enlightenment^ 
who is the most culpable idolater; it is the indolent, the sen- 
sualist, the sentimentalist, the man of taste or routine, who, 
sacrificing his reason or his sincerity to conventional forms, 
languishes over a superannuated symbol, and, in spite of all 
the aids of civilization, deUberately abandons the great end of 
his intellectual existence. 



" Wisdom," as professed by the ancient priest, by the He- 
brews, and other ancient nations, consisted in " Knowledge of 
God;" a knowledge manifested in a correct appreciation of his 
attributes and relations to mankind. These attributes and rela- 


tions were expressed in audible forms as well in visible ones : the 
priest danced round the altar or idol, muttering a hymn or 
chaunt to accompany the sacrifice^, and the duty of " praising 
and magnifying the Lord s name/' continued for ever to com- 
prise a large part of religious theory and practice. The most 
ancient mode of addressing the Deity, or of " calling on the 
name of the Lord/" appears to have been a sort of rehearsal 
of the divine attributes and tides, *' avcuia>iOu/jLsvoi ra raav Qsoiv 
ovofAUTa"^ such as may still be found in the Veda hymns, the 
Orphic fragments, and the Zendavesta^. 

Magic virtue was attached to the pronouncing the divine 
names in proper form and order'; an acquaintance with them 
being an essential part of that divine knowledge by which the 
soul might be lifted up to heaven*. The invention of such 
names, and the recapitulation of them, were exclusively the 
prerogative of the priest ; the honour of a god might be esti- 
mated from the number of his titles^, and the endless variety 
of theological names, as well as of ritualic forms, corresponded 
to as many observed or imagined manifestations of his presence 
in nature. The earlier Hebrew names of God are all signi- 
ficant; they are chiefly descriptive of power; El being com- 
monly interpreted the "strong/* Schadai the "mighty/' the 
God of Melchisedec is the " strong exalted; " Elohim, probably, 
means the "revered;" the "fear of Isaac," being the God of 
Isaac. Abraham calls on the name of "Jehovah, the Eter- 

* 1 KingB zriii 26 — literally " hopped or leaped roimd the altar.*' Swald, 
AnhaDg to Geechkhte, p. 46. 

' GcDet. zzi. 83. ' Died. S. I ch. 22. 

* The " urm^On " of the Pernans (Herod, i. 182. Flat Iiifl and Ourif, ch. 52), 
and the Paean of the Greeki (Iliad i. 472), probably Bomewhat resembling in style 
the dry eatalognee of Hesiod. QointiL Inst. z. 1. Theoph. ad Antol. p. 117. 

* Origen agt. Cels. i. p. 19. ' Iambi, de Myst. vii. 4, 5. 

' The "myrionymons" earth was invoked in names as endless as her powers. 
Pint. Isu and Osiris, 58. Procl. in Tinue. 4. Hymn. Apollo. D. 82. Ceres. 18. 
Aiistoph. Thesm. 820. Plat 1164, and hence Artemis begs of Joto to grant her 
" pelyonymy,'' that she may become eqnal to her brother Phobos. Oallim. in Art 7. 
This was probably the origin of the " ^•x»x$ym,** condemned Matt yi. 7. 

VOL. I. L 


Hal/'* who, at the time of healing the bitter waters, becdmci 
•'the heal^,"" as, on other occasions "the Saviour;"*® "the 
Bedeemer;"'* and " the Judge." *' On the other hand, the 
servants of the Lord were forbidden to name the gods of the 
heathen'*; and the same superstition which, in other countries, 
made certain mysterious names unpronounceable^^, either from 
general religious owe, or a feaf lest the power of invoking the 
god by name should give an advantage to enemies '^ caused the 
Hebrews to carry so far the Levitioal prohibition of blasphemy '*, 
that they feared even to utter the "terrible name" of Jehovah* 
Other names, said the Babbis, imply God's attributes, but this, 
the Hamphorasch (separate name), reveals his essence'^. 



Every form of religion contains the two aspects of the popu- 
lar and the philosophical, variously united or contrasted. 
Theological philosophy is perhaps only another name for Pan* 
theism ; yet the pantheistic hypothesis, in which the universe 
was conceived to exist only as an expansion of the Deity, was 
itself no more than a deliberate reassertion of the great mystery 
apprehended by the earliest religious sentiment^ in which God^ 

• Gknes. xxi. 3S. ' Ezod. zr. 26; zxiii. 25. 

M 2 Sam. zzii. 3. laai. zliii. 8. >' Psalm ziz. 14. laaS. zUy. 6. 

" Jadg. zL 27. 1 Sam. zziy. 15. 

*' Ezod. zziit 18. Josh, zziii. 7. Psalm zvL 4. 

'< " Affnrm'*-^<omp, Cic de N. D. iii. 22. Dav. Herod, li. 61. 182. 170. Creus. 
Symb. 1. 895. Dion. HaL i. 68. p. 172. 

*' Hence the Romans kept filename of their own god a secret, but endeavofnred 
to seduce tlie gods of other nations to quit their native worshippers, so that eventn- 
tllj Rome beoune full of foreign gods. To this day many of the lower classes in 
Italy are unwilling to tell their name to a stranger. 

'• Levit z»Y. 16. 

" J^ome to Psafin viii. Joseph. Antiq. ii. 12. 4. Phflo, de Vit Mos. 619. 629. 
Origen in Cels. L 24. 


man, and nature i^ere vagaely blended. It follows that the 
best religions philosophy is a simple exercise of faith, since 
mysteries can never be comprehended, and with every att^npt 
to increase the powers of the metaphysical telescope the notion 
of God only becomes more evanescent and obscnre. Pantheism 
inclades many varieties of refinement ; it may blend God with 
Nature, or raise Nature to God; it may be materialism or 
idealism, spiritualism or personification. For persomfioation, if 
not immediately present at the origin of religion^ is at le^st 
closely connected with it ; the mind requiring the imagery of 
the senses in order to develop its conceptions, and the symbol 
of man himself being one of the most obvious and satisfactory 
means of doing so. Spiritualism is itself only a higher per- 
sonification, since all we know of spirit is the thinlcing faculty 
of which we «re self-conscious, and whose external existence we 
infer from comparison and analogy. Hence the idea of Deity, 
whether removed from the world, or pantheistically identified 
with it, has a natural tendency to assume that noblest form of 
symbolism, personification ; *' for it would be unreasonable to 
think there is divinity in wood and stone, in birds and serpents^ 
and not in man ; man who is most Godlike wben good, most 
diabolical when wicked."^ All religion presumes a relation 
to some external power, and throughout all its forms may be 
observed two contradictory tendencies ; on one hand the desire 
to exalt and extend the idea of such a power through the whole 
range of the universe; on the other to confine it within the 
limits of an individuality suited more closely to respond to our 
own imaginations and sympathies. Balanced between these 
extremes, the mind never abandons itself ^tirely to either. 
Nrither pure Pantheism nor pure fetichiam are, stricdy sp^ak* 
ing, possible. The religious development of the mind has 
sometimes been divided hypothetically into the three consecu* 
tive states of fetichism, polytfaeistic personification, and mono- 
theism ; the first defined to be a deificatLon of external nature 
in its separate parts; the second, the reference of the. object of 

1 Pkt Hinoa. 819. 

L 2 


worship to the standard of the worshipper ; the third, the re- 
cognition of a sole existing cause external to the world. It 
would he more true to say that all the three states or stages 
supposed to have been consecutive have, in reality, existed in 
all times together, though in different degrees. Differences of 
culture have introduced no new element, but only new forms 
and modifications of what existed already. If fetichism be 
understood as a worship of things, merely as things, without 
the least apprehension of ulterior meaning, it would scarcely be 
too much to say that it never existed unless in the imaginations 
and reports of African traders or travellers unable to describe 
accurately what they did not themselves thoroughly under- 
stand. All fetichism may be assumed to be more or less sym- 
bolical, and all symbolism, however complicated or polytheistic, 
to have its share of Pantheism and monotheism. Assuming 
that nature was deified before man, that all religion was first 
suggested by external objects, that the symbolism so acquired 
is never so pure as to be absolutely beyond the risk of con- 
founding the sign with the object, we are involved in a seem- 
ing contradiction when asserting on the other hand that there 
can be no fetichism without some feeling of symbolism, that 
the tendency to personify existed long before the development ' 
of a deliberate polytheism, that man, in short, never entirely 
abrogates his rational nature, and even in his lowest degrada- 
tion has a glimmering consciousness of an unseen external 
agency giving mystical importance to the stone or block which 
he seems to worship. It is the development of this indistinct 
but ever-present feeling, rather than the creation of it, which 
constitutes his religious education. In the endeavour to form 
an image of such an independent agency, he follows the most 
obvious analogies, attributing to the rude symbol more and 
more of his own form and feeling, until in the retrospect of 
ancient superstition he conceives its superannuated relics to 
have undergone a metamorphosis, as Niobe was said even after 
her transformation to weep for her children', and the changes 

' Iliad, xziv. 617. Soph. Blectr. 150. 


of Proteus and of Vishnou were supposed to have ceased on 
their taking the shape of man. Beligion acts the counter- 
part to the mind's progress in self-interpretation. Man's self- 
consciousness reflects him first as an organic heing, afterwards 
as a moral and intelligent one. Exaggerations of the bodily 
faculties of size, strength, or beauty, suggest the first forms of 
Tulgar personification ; the Deity of the Old Testament is an 
evident copy of the human shape, endowed with those " parts 
and passions" which could be reconciled with the more spiri- 
tual representations of the New, only through the theological 
doctrine of ''Accommodation." He is, moreover, a distinct, 
visible Artificer, external to the works of creation which he suc- 
cessively forms, examines, and approves. To the adherents of 
this rude personalism, every form of Pantheism, or spiritualism^ 
would have seemed unintelligible, evanescent, and atheistic; 
hence the problem of the Atheism of Thales', and the Chris- 
tian complaint of the materialism of Oreek cosmogony^. The 
first Greek philosophies were a reaction against these degrading 
views; but while endeavouring to avoid the personifying ex- 
treme they became materialistic or morphological, making the 
world a universal element rather than a universal Being. Tet 
the idea of force and of life inseparable firom the general con- 
ception of the divine always tended to revert to the only avail- 
able types for its expression, and to become, according to the 
prevailing degree of mental culture, either a moral ruler or 
father, or that gigantic physical organism comprehending male 
and female, heaven and earth, which was the earliest and sim- 
plest expression of the pantheistic feeling. It was from this 
half mystical, half homely and sensuous feeling that in the 
natural development of thought the rival powers of intellect 
and sense commenced their divergent operations ; in one direc- 
tion flowed the rich stream of symbolism, from the separation 
of the original hermaphrodite and the intermarriage of earth 

' Augvsdn, de Ciy. viii. 2. 

^ Boieb. Pr. St. i, 7. p. 16. Atheism hang always a term of reproach cast by 
the adhnents of a lower creed on those of a more elevated one. 


and heaven^ to the complicated creations of polytheistic 
mythology, on the other a more spiritual expression of Pan- 
theism keeping pace with the march of intellectual self-con- 
sciousness, which, if employing symholism, employed it ad- 
Yisedly, confining it to its proper function of explanatory 
illustration. The philosophical Pantheist, though opposed to 
the popular mythological forms, might by an exercise of in* 
genuity reconcile their use with his own convictions. Bowing, 
like Socrates, before the idol, he might reserve his real venera- 
tion for the universal and invisible spirit revealed only in its 
effects; and being himself enabled through the expedient of 
the emanation-doctrine to reconcile plurality with unity, and 
satisfactorily to acknowledge the mystery of the world as a 
faith, if not to explore it as a problem, he might tolerate the 
religious use of fanciful imagery in order to express what was 
otherwise inexplicable to the multitude, without feaong or per- 
haps foreseeing its liability to abuse. 

We often hear complacent self-congratulations on the re- 
cognition of a personal God, as being the conception most 
suited to human sympathies, and exempt firom the mystifica- 
tions of Pantheism. But the divinity remains still a mystery 
notwithstanding all the devices which symbolism, either fix)m 
the organic or inorganic creation, can supply, and personi- 
fication is a symbol liable to misapprehension as much, if not 
more so, than any other, since it is apt to degenerate into 
a mere reflection of our own infirmities, and to suggest to our 
minds in regard to the Deity the same unreasonable expecta- 
tions which cause such fi"equent disappointment in regard to 
our own famihar acquaintance and kindred. Objections to 
Pantheism not only imply ignorance on the part of the Chris- 
tian objector as to the nature of his own creed ^, but as to the 
point in dispute. Pantheism is in some measure £elt, if not 
acknowledged, by all men. It is no more open to the charge 
of materialism than a personifying creed; since, if the one 
blends God with Nature, the other virtually confounds him with 

• Comp. Athena, xiiL 78. « Comp. Acta xvii. 28. 


a part of Nature. By an inevitable association of ideas tbe 
elements of idealism and materialism are always more or lesfi 
united, and the difficulty felt by tha advocates of a spintualistio 
belief in excluding the Deity from participation with tbe 
material produced those seeming contradictions^, which caused 
Plato to complain of the materialism of Anaxagoras", those 
inevitable paradoxes of the senses and of the understanding 
which still afford a ground of superciUous comment to critics 
who would demand from the creed of the Hindoo that logical 
consistency which on the inscrutable theme of Deity is not to 
be found in any, not even in their own^ The elements of 
personification, as well as Pantheism, are in all Nature- worship. 
A basi? of Pantheism pervades the polytheism of Greece '°, ^nd 
every pantheistic system betrays more or less of the irresistible 
tendency to personification. Their unconscious union may be 
found in the oldest Vedas, whose hymns were poetically said to 
have been " milked out of the elements," meaning that they 
were derived from the immediate inspiration of Nature at an age 
indefinitely remote. These hymns are invocations to the 
Devatas, to the same elemental powers which were the earliest 
objects of worship to the Persian'* and to the Greek '^ Thd 
air, the sky, the cloudef, the circle of the horizon '*, have each 
an array of figurative titles as separate personifications ; the 
fire (Agni), for iJ^stance'^ is drawn in a chariot with red horses, 
and addressed as '* king, assembler of the gods, son of strength, 
sacrificer," &c. It has been conjectured, from certain legendary 
hints in the Zendavesta, that one of the chief causes of the 
religious schism between the Iranian races of Persia and of 
India was the proneness of the latter to personify those " de* 
vatas," or divinities, which the former indignantly denounced 

' Gic N.I). L 12, 18. * Phfedo, Wytten. p. 66. 

* Comp. Wilson's Oxford Lecture, pp. 45 and 47, with the first church article, 
and the accommodation doctrine. 

'* Nitzsch to Odyss. Introd. p. oil. >* HeKid. i, 181. Esra L 2. 

»« Phito, Cmtyl. 897". Hom. H. iii 277. -fisch. Pr. 88. 

" Varouna, Ac. ** Laasea, Ind. Ant i 760. 


as Deves or devils in human shape '^. Yet the spirit of the 
Yedas, as understood by their earliest as well as most recent 
expositors^*, is decidedly a pantheistic monotheism; the many 
divinities, numerous as the prayers addressed to them, are 
resolvable into the titles and attributes of a few, and ultimately 
into the One. The machinery of personification unconsciously 
assumed by the first worshippers of Nature was afterwards 
philosophically understood to have been a mere expedient to 
supply the deficiencies of language; and '^devotional re- 
flexion"" justly considered itself as only interpreting the true 
meaning of the Mantras when it proclaimed that in the begin- 
ning '* nothing was but mind, the creative thought of him '* 
which existed alone from the beginning, and breathed 
without aiflation."^' The idea suggested in the Mantras is 
dogmatically asserted and developed in the Upanischadas. The 
Yedanta philosophy, assuming the mystery of the ''one in 
many" as the fundamental article of faith, maintains not only 
the Divine unity, but'tHe identity of matter and spirit — the 
unity which it advocates is that of mind ; mind is the universal 
element ; the one God, the great soul, Mahaatma^. God is 
indeed the material as well as efficient cause, and the world is a 
texture of which he is both the web and the weaver. He is the 
Macrocosmos, the universal organism called Pooroosha, of 
which Fire, Air, and Sun are only the chief members. His 
head is light, his eyes the sun and moon, his breath the wind, 
his voice the opened Vedas. As a thousand sparks fly from a 
single fire, so the thousands of creatures from God ; as the web 
issues from the body of the spider, hair and nails from the 
skin, and grass from the earth, so the All proceeds from Brahm. 
Yet it is only the difficulty or rather impossibiUty of expressing 
in language the origination of matter from spirit which gives 
to Hindoo philosophy the appearance of materialism. Form- 

'* Lassen, lud. Antiq. i. 790. 

'• Menu. xii. 85. 87. 118* 122. Y. BoUen, Ind. i. 152. 154. 

" Mimansa. '• Or " That" '• Lassen, ib. 774. 

M Hoogbton's Vindication of Colebrooke. Asiatic Jonmal, Dec. 1835. 


less himself, the Deity is present in all forms ; his glory is dis- 
played in the oniyerse as the image of the son in water, which 
is, yet is not, the luminary itself. All material agency and 
appearance, the subjectiye world of the Eleatic " 3b|a/' are to 
a great extent phantasms, the notional representations of igno- 
rance"; they occupy, however, a middle ground between reality 
and non-reality ; they are unreal, because nothing exists but 
Brahm ; yet in some degree real, inasmuch as they constitute 
an outward manifestation of him. They are personified as 
Prakriti, Nature ; or Sakd, the Energy, or manifested Instru- 
mentality of the Supreme, by the sensuous allegorized into his 
Consort; by the philosopher subtilized into Maia, which, how- 
ever, is not the mere abstract notion of '' Illusion," but its 
source ; a self-induced hypostasis of the Deity, under which he 
presents to himself the whole of animate and inanimate nature, 
the actuality of the moment, the diversified appearances which 
successively invest the one Pantheistic spirit. The object of 
divine knowledge is to overcome the illusion produced by the 
consciousness of individuality, and to arrive at the conviction 
of the oneness of the soul with God, so that man may feel and 
affirm with certainty '*I am Brahm." The identification of 
matter with mind which confounds our notion of substance, 
and which under a modified form has been so far countenanced 
as a speculation even by modem experimentalists as to give a 
strong check to the self-sufficiency of the simplest ontological 
inferences firom sensuous appearance, was boldly adopted by 
Parmenides and Yyasa ^ as the basis of the oldest faiths, or 
religious philosophies of the world. 

§ 10. 


The personification of the Supreme Being, that irresistible 
tendency exemplified from the idol of the savage up to the 

*i Avidya. " V. Bohlen, Ind. i. 161. Comp. LuBcn, Ant i. 884 


metaphorical language of philosophic Pantheism, may take 
place in two senses; either in connection with the outward 
form of humanity, or with its inner life or intelligence. The 
latter is the personification of philosophy; the former a higher 
kind of symholical fetichism, which would probably not have 
continued to maintain its ground in an age of comparative 
civilization but for the countenance it obtained through the 
progress of Art The feeling which would deify the beautiful 
existed among the Hindoos and Hebrews as well as among the 
Greeks^; but among the former it was overborne by another 
tendency, that wish to blend in one expression a great variety 
of theological ideas which made the idols of Egypt or India 
elaborate metaphysical enigmas, a sculptured library of symbols 
instead of a gallery of art. On the other hand, Greece as well 
as India had its symbolical temple- theology ; its sacred snakes 
(oiMupoi o^ii) — its two-headed and three-eyed statues-* its cend- 
mani and chimsras, and its first efforts of sculpture and of 
song were more metaphysical than graceful; but either from 
the self-neutralizing efiect of conflicting forms, the natural 
tendencies of the people, or the circumstances of their external 
history', the development of reUgious imagery fell into the 
hands of men in whom the character of priest was subordinate 
to that of the artist; in other words, art, from the servant, 
became the mistress, the teacher, or even the constitutor of the 
religion in whose aid she had been employed. In this sense 
the great poets. Homer and Hesiod, were said to have been the 
''makers" of Greek Theogony'; and successive improvements 
in the plastic art, really due to the skill and genius of the 
sculptor, were received as new revelations from Heaven*. All 
symbolism was originally automatic and unpremeditated; so that 
the first images of the gods were said to have fallen from the 
sky, and the earliest artists, or rather personifications of sacer- 
dotal symbol-making, such as Daedalus, Thoth, or Hephaestus, 
were looked upon as eitlier wholly or in part divine. Yet the 

» Lassen, Antiq. i. 771. ' MuUer, Orehom. p. 803". 

^ Herod, ii. 53. « Taua. iU. 16. 1 ; viii. 42. 4. 


iiifluenoe of the priest was uot absolutely extinct ; die Ergastmad 
and Arrephori, the ministers of the peplus of Athena or the 
toteh of Ceres continued their traditional observances ; sacer- 
dotal offices were hereditary in certain feunilies, nor were 
Demeter or even Zeus ever completely severed from the ele- 
ments. But the sacerdotal influence was counterbalaixced by 
another of a more generally congenial kind'; for the Greek 
artist was himself a sort of hierarch of Nature emancipated from 
the strict subservience to precedent commonly inherent in the 
sacerdotal spirit, and enjoying to some extent that privilege of 
inventing and modifying religious symbolism usually accorded 
only to its earliest founders. He employed the privilege rather 
in the selection and chastened expression of conceptions than 
in the grotesque accumulation of them ; anticipating in r^ard 
to forms that mental process which the Platonic philosophy 
applied generally to ideas. Yet he was not a mere inventor of 
ornamental postures and forms, for the very beauty of the form 
consisted, to a great extent, in the appropriate expression of an 
idea, partly indeed derived from tradition, yet partly too from a 
profound study of Nature, as well in her moral meanings as in 
the general law by which she seems to have been influenced in 
her representations of them, so that art was kept aUve by the 
soul which prompted it, and in the copy, as in the original, the 
idea of ornament was secondary and subordinate to the beauty 
and justness of the thought. 

Early art was a substitute for literature ; and the origin of 
sculpture was prepared in that necessity of the mind by which 
natural objects had been invested immemorially with an ap- 
propriate emblematic meaning. Among the first symbols of 
Deity were those fabled ancestors of mankind, trees and stones. 
To an attentive mind even stocks and stones may be made 
instructive, and be used like any other cipher or sound to raise 
the thoughts to reUgious contemplation. The worship of stones, 
frequent among all rude tribes, was especially so in Arabia, 

» Called by BenjamiD Constant, " Poljtheisme ind^pendant," but more properly, 
perbapc, to be styled the Spie or sesUietic tenden^cy. 

Mf » 


Phoenicia, and other parts of western Asia, where several indi- 
Tidual stones, as those of Pessinas, of Emesa, and of the 
Gaaba, have obtained historical celebrity*. Emblematic stones 
were worshipped in Greece down to the days of Pausanias, 
and were appealed to, in the practice of the Arabs and Bomans^, 
as a monumental attestation of oaths and compacts. Zuri- 
Schaddai and Zuriel appears to have been a common name for 
the Hebrew Ood', adopted conformably to the custom of the 
religious East' as a family patronymic ; and the emphatic way in 
which Jehovah is often addressed, as *' the Rock" or "Stone" of 
Israel, seems to indicate something more than a mere poetical 
metaphor^\ this natural comparison easily generating a corre- 
sponding form of worship by the conversion of an idea into a 
rite". Meteoric stones were said to have been " invented" by 
the God Uranus" to be made objects of human devotion ; they 
were imagined to have once existed in the heavens as stars, in 
consequence of their falling from the air^', and were therefore 

' Theophrast. ch. xvi. Photins, Cod. 242. Olem. Alex. Cohort. 4. Zoega, 
Abhand. p. 22". ApoUon. £h. ii. 1176. Herodian, Hist t. 8. 
' Herod, iii. 8. Apuleiiu, De Deo Socrat y. p. 127, Hildebrand. 

• Numb. i. 6; iL 12; iii. 35. 2 Sam. xxii. 2, 8. 82; xziii. 8. 

* LuL-ian, Pro. Imag. 27. 

'* Conf. Qenes. xliz. 24. Dent xxxii. 4. 18. 30, 81. 87. The other epithet, 
" shepherd/' in the former of these passages, is evidently not arbitrary, but taken 
from the habits of a pastoral people ; the close analogy of mythus and ritual is ex- 
empUiied in the sacred stone of Delphi, as in the emblematic torches of Ceres. 
Clem. Alex. Str. i. 418. Hes. Th. 499. Paus. x. 24 ; ix. 88. 

" The Messiah, who, as Jehoyah's earthly manifestation or representative suc- 
ceeded to many of his symbols, became the "anointed" comer stone. Psalm cxviii. 
22. Daniel ii. 84, 85. Matth. xxL 42. 44. 1 Cor. x. 4. Gfrorer, Uichrist iL 
420. When it is said (Roth, pre£ue to Nimkta) that religious d(>gnias are usuaUy 
derivatives from ritual, not its sources, it is not to be denied that an opinion lay 
at the foimdation of the rite itself, of which, however, the rite is often the only re- 
maining record. 

*' ei«f ov^ff. Enseb. Pr. Ev. i. 10. 

*' '* Awrn^ M^anrnt" Euseb. Pr. Ev. i. 10. 21, Heinichen. Hence Boetylns 
is a son of Heaven, Euseb. ib., and is represented as flying through the air. Pho- 
tius, p. 1061. 1063. 1066. Stones were, therefore, emblems of those Titan Uranides, 
whose prototypes existed in the sky. (Eurip. Orest vi. 975. Phcenissae, iii. Diog. 



presumed to be ensouled with a divine or celestial intelligence 
One of the most expressive and universal symbols of the Deity 
was fire, the all-vivifying and all-consuming element borne in 
the van of the Persian" and Hebrew armies ^^ and for ever 
burning in the temple of Numa, the Athenian Prytaneum, and 
on the Levitical altar *^. Stones were reverenced as the myste- 
rious depositaries of fire — of the spark struck firom the rock by 
the Persian Housheng; and it was probably in this sense 
chiefly that they received the name of " Bethels" " or " houses 
of God'^ who was supposed to be actually resident and in- 
closed within them'^. Hence the practice of pouring oil over 
them; and Heraclitus compared image worship to talking to 
''houses/' for the same reason that the Christians supposed 
evil spirits to lurk under heathen statues". In the " Bethel" 
or meteoric stone, the idea of celestial fire was mingled with 
that of terrestrial, and many femciful analogies connected these 
earthly symbols with the nobler fetichism of the sun and stars. 
The Greeks, who in the most ancient times worshipped the 
heavenly bodies**, worshipped also rude stones**. The thirty 
stones at Phar» mentioned by Pausanias, and the pyramidal 
figure of Jupiter Meilichius*^, had probably an astronomical 

Laeri. ii yiiL 10. Comp. OdjM. yiiL 186), and which were vomited as ttonet by 
Cionni. HeB. Th. i59. Gomp. 157. 652. 

>« " Wm i^^va;m "— Enseb. Pr. Bt. " Religiosa silez **— Claudian. Rapt Pros. 
L 201. The horned Ashtoreth or Aitarte herself consecrates in T3rre the &llen meteor, 
Bnseb. i. 10. 21, and her emblems of star and stone are often united. Pellerin, Rec. 
8. tab. 54, and cxzxy. 9. 

** Cnrtius, iii. 8 ; y. 2. Ammianos Maicell. xziii. 6. 

>* Dent ix. 8. Ezod. ziv. 24. Psahn Ixviii. 8. 

*' " Zi»f »»»ftmT9» wif^t offMi" Orph. Frag, vi 18. Antonin. Lib. ch. ziz. 
Nonni. Dion. vi. 174. Oomp. Ezod. xziv. 10. 17. Dent iv. 12. 24, &c. The 
angels too were supposed to be of a fiery nature. See Psalm civ. 4. 

■• BMtTvXm, '* Plato, Phsedms, 246. Genes, zzviii. 17. 22. 

** Amobius, i. 89; vi. 18. Clem. Alez. Protrep. p. 40, Pott. Strom. 418, and 
862. Plntarch, Aldb. 84. Qn. Rom. 61, p. 279. Spanheim to Gallima. in 
Lavacr. Pallad. v. 88, 89.~MUller, Archaologie, 66. Diod. S. zvii. 49. Ezod. 
ziii. 21. 

«» Minut Pel. Octav. ch. zzvi » Plato, Cratyl. 897. 

« Pans. vii. 22. 8. " Pans. ii. 9. 6. 


significance ; the same may be said of the pole surmounted by 
the suns disc worshipped by the Peeonians'*, and the stone 
pillars called in Phcnnicia "Hamanim" or "sun images/' 
sometimes topped by a flame or globe'*. Upright posts or 
pillars, whether of stone or wood, were among the most ancient 
symbols; they represented the divine attributes of firmness, 
order, unity, the power of stability or regeneration''. The 
obelisk was rich in meaning ; it was the sun's prolific ray, the 
phallus, or, astronomically, the pole or spindle of the sky'*; 
the pyramid being only a more gigantic obelisk, typical of 
God's mountain, the Adantean fabric of the universe, of which 
the pinnacle is the Lord's house or throne **, while the lower 
parts are full of dark and intricate passages '^ through which 
the disembodied spirit fulfils the labyrinth of its migrations '\ 
The universe, the real dwelling-place of God, of the sun, or of 
fire, was expressed on coins by an asterisk within a square''; 

^ Max. Tyr. DIbb. viii. 8. Oomp. Herod. W. 108. 

^ The inuminated column at an emblem of diyinity expressed Btead&jrtneas and 
light; to tt^rtts Mi fMufff r»u Buo pis. (Clem. Alex. Strom, i. p. 418.) "Such 
pillari/' adds Clement, " were worshipped as api^i^v/iMrm of God before the formal 
ektablishment of image worship, and of this nature were the pillars of fire and 
cloud which led the Israelites." The spires of our own churches with their balls and 
eocks, the latter the " irt^ixtt «^ts" emblematic of the sun (Aristoph. Areg — 
Payne, Knight, Anct. Art s. 104), are deriyed firom these ancient symbols. Fire, ac- 
cording to th« Pythagoreans (Psendo Plut. de Plac. PhOos. ii. 0), was symbolized by 
the pyramidal form. Plin. N. H. xxxvi. 14. Gomp. Tinue. Leer, de AnimH, p. 
564, €hile, and as to the symbolical relation of the Phallus to fire, Plut in viti 
Bom. ii. Dion. Hal. iv. 2. 

^ Hence God is '* the rock." Dent xxxii. 4. 2 Sam. xxii. 2, 82. Psalm 
xviii. 81 ; xxviii. 1, and Christ his earthly yicegerent, the '' comer stone." Acts 
IT. 11. Matt xxi. 42. 

■• Ar^urts. Creuz. 8. ii. 188. 192. Plato, Rep. x. 18, p. 617. Arati, Phoen. 
22. PUn. N. H. xxxvi. 14 ; xxxriii. 8. 

» Isai. ii. 2 ; xl. 22. Psabn xcTii. 9 ; cxiii. 4. 

* Plato, Phsedo, 61, 68, 65, Wyttenb. Creuz. S; ii. 118. sq. Herod, ii. 148. 
As to the labyrinth and its meaning, Yii^. JEn. y. 588, and Creuz. S. ii. 118. 

^ Hence tombs were made into the forms of pyramids, obelisks, or phalli. Comp. 
the account of the remarkable sepulchral towers near Tartosa, and the fluted pyra- 
midal tombs of the Tezidis, in Kelly's Syria, pp. 47 and 124. 

•* Payne, Knight, Ancient Art s. 96. 


a variation of the same hieroglyph produced the labyrmth, which 
98 described by Herodotus, with its twelve halls lying over 
against one another, seems to represent the houses of the 
Zodiac, as the Cnossian or Delian dance** would be the tor- 
tuous path of the starsw In the concision arising out of the 
use of symbols, the emblem of God's habitation was easily mis* 
taken for God himself; or rather, that which in a more ad- 
vanced stage of thought was separated from God was in the 
first processes of symbolism confounded with him, whether 
diminished to a stone or magnified to a mountain, such as 
Mount Arganthonius in Spain, Atlas, Argaeus, or Olympus, 
each of which was at once the shrine and the Deity**. The 
rude stone or altar**, the dwelling-place of fire**, which, being a 
symbol or image of the Deity, was at first called after his 
name*^, seemed, in the advance of personification and reflec^ 
tion, no longer fit to represent him ; the rock-bom spark was 
dramatised into the Mithras Diorphus of the Persians**; and 
Vesta or Hestia, alone among the Greek Pantheon, was left as 
tenant of the " house of the gods/'** Tet the gods of statuary 
and poetry, though in point of form so different from the ori- 
ginal symbols, and fi'om the physical beings they represented**, 
continued in many respects unchemged ; the material was the 
same, a substance the least susceptible of decay *^ the form 
yielded but to slow and cautious innovations, and it was only 
by degrees that the divine unity expressed by one stone or 
pillar**, or the dualism represented by two**, imderwent that 

*> Plut Hea. 21. Oallim. Delos. 806. Diad zvui. 591. 

^ Creuz. Syxnb. L 86 ; iii. 137 ; iv. 622. Strabo, yu. 298. Isai. li. 1. Paus. 
ix. 84. 

» Exod. XX. 24. »• Judg. ti. 21 ; xiii. 20. 

" Comp. Payne, Enigbt, Ancient Art S. 94, and Genes, xxxiii. 20. Exod. xvii. 16. 

^ 'O et0t i» ittr^etf, Ghiigniant, Rel. i. 871. Statins Theb. i. 719. 

'-* •• ei«* •t»9tr Plato, Phaedrus, 247. Ovid, Past vi. 295. " Nee tn aliud 
Yestam quam Tivam intellige flammam." 

^ Plato, Laws, p. 981. 

'^ Gesen. to Isal xl. 20 ; xUr. 14, 15. Wisd. xiii. 11. 18. 

«» Pind. Nem. x. 115. 

^ Snob as tbe Jnpiter Meiliehins and Diana Patroa of Sicyon, Pans. ii. 9, or tbe 


transformation of the artist which was either limited, as among 
the Egyptians ^^ to certain prescribed types, or virtually eman- 
cipated, as in Greece, by the subordination of theological ideas. 
In the latter, the shapeless blocks called Herme assumed more 
and more of the human form; until, according to the adage ^\ 
men appeared literally to have grown out of stones and trees. 
The circular disc of the sun, appended to the Paeonian pole, has 
a rude resemblance to a human head^'; the first development of 
the arms assumed, as in the curious Numidian figure of Baal- 
Hamon^^, the cruciform shape; the rude post became a bust, 
to which were superadded the distinctions of sex ; the legs were 
divided^, at first, as in Egyptian art^ stiffly, afterwards with 
greater freedom^*; till at length Jove was allowed as it were to 
walk forth out of the block*": the age of Daedalus began", 
and the finished statue appeared to have issued out of the ori- 
ginal pillar or pedestal on which it was mounted, as the human 
goddess Atergatis is represented on the coins of Ascalon stand- 
ing upon the body of her chronological predecessor, or mother, 
the fish-deity Derceto". 

two poles lepreaenting CSastor and Pollaz at Sparta, a figure still preserred in the 
astronomical sign Gemini Pint, de Amor. Frat 1. Comp. Eoseb. Pr. Et. i. 10. 8. 
Herod, ii. 44. 111. 121. Crenz. Briefe, 89. 1 Kings, ni. 15. Lucian, De Dea, S. 
xvi. 28. We may add the two pillars erected in firont of Solomon's temple, and 
those of the temple of Bagon at Gaza, for it is difficult to ascertain where the quar- 
terly reviewer of Bunsen's Egypt, p. 163, found his '' open style of columnar archi- 
tecture," and his " pairs of columns at considerable intervals from each other." 

** Plato, Laws, ii. 656. 239, Bek. 

** Odyss. T. 163. Comp. Matt iii. 9. Yirg. Georg. i. 63. 

** Winkelman, Geschichte, i. 1. 9. 

*^ In the museum of the Asiatic Society, and figured in Pt 8, Fig. 21 of Gese- 
nius* " Phoenician Inscriptions," s. 57. — Ghillany, " Jf enschenopfer," p. 580. 

M Comp. the story of the leg-tied Zeus. Isis and Osiris, ch. 62. 

^ It would seem as if men feared lest the free use of legs, as in the instance of 
the Samian Juno (Athenseus, 672'), would enable the god to run away from them, 
and consequently the first " Daedalean ** statues were chained. Note to Plato's 
Meno, p. 97, Variorum Ed. p. 78. Comp. Paus. iii 15. 7. 

** Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, ch. 62. 

*' Plato, Hipp. Major. 282. Pausan. iz. 3. 

" Creujs. Sym ii. Pt. 2. tab. i. Fig. 7. tab. ii. Fig. 10. 


§ 11. 

The first efforts of poetry, as of sculpture, were dedicated to 
the service of the gods. The muses of Parnassus and Helicon 
were originally from Pieria, the country surrounding the foot of 
Thessalian Olympus \ which, as the revered site of the oldest 
^olian civilization, became ever after mythologically sacred as 
the habitation of the so-called " Olympian " or poetical divini- 
ties '. Human reason has been said to be chiefly distinguished 
by the progressive character which it owes to the use of memory 
and language '; and the Muses were beautifully imagined to be 
daughters of Memory *, the only power through which, in the 
infancy of literature, the acquisitions of thought can be recorded 
and preserved. The barbarian Lycurgus, like the Persian ad- 
versary Afrasiab, the representative at once of ignorance, ste- 
rility, and winter, tried in vain to extirpate those " nourishers 
of the soul,"* who accompanied with their songs the triumphant 
progress of the God of Nature*; inextinguishable germs of 
civiUzation whether native or derived were implanted on the 
soil of Greece ; the lesson of the Muses was learned by the rude 
shepherd of Boeotia ^, and in its connection with religion became 
precursor of the more abstruse harmonies of philosophy *. The 

• Hes. Theog. 62. Strabo, z. 471. 

' Heyne, De Religtone Mnaaruzn, Gottingen. Trans. Tom. viii. an. 1786. Comp. 
Enrip. Bacchs, 569 — " i* rtts «'«Xv2f*}(«ir/y OXvft^tu ^«X«/M/f %ffim wtr O^tug 
$u0m^tZ»f wvfuytt )iid^« Mo$wtuSf ^tnttyu fn(»t my^ttrms. " 

' Language itself being an artificial memory. Archbp. Whatelj, in the Athenseum 
fi>r 1842, p. 1040. Max. Tyr. Diss, zvi 807. 

« Hes. Theog. 53. 

• " d^rrii^i ^•';c*"*" Orph. Hymn, 76, 

• Sophocl. Antig. 965. Iliad, vi. 130. Diod. S. iii. 55. 64; i. 16. 18; iy. 4. 
ZoegSy Abhand. p. 13. 

' Hes. Th. 26. 

" " *A# ^iX«r«^<«f ovfiTf iuyt9m9 /uvemnt" Plato, Phsedo, p. 60". Strabo, z. 

p. 468. 

VOL. I. M 


first hieratic poetry was an unpremeditated inspiration, including^ 
under the disguise of a narrative of human action, the ima- 
ginary deeds of gods mixed up ^th the history of the universe. 
It received its first outlines firom those ancient theological pro- 
fessors who, with justice, were styled the '' Sophists of anti- 
quity," " since, whether their dogmas were clothed in the forms 
of poetry or in mystic solemnities and oracles, whether speaking 
as seers of Nature or as inspired prophets of the Muse, they 
rather aimed at that which should possess plausibility among 
their immediate cotemporaries, than for the attainment of such 
a standard of truth as should bear the test of experience ^^ 
The first philosophers were theologers, and the first theology 
was poetry. To the hierophants of Dodona or Samothrace, 
the bards of Apollo, or of Bacchus", must be ascribed the 
first attempts to give an authoritative standard of expression 

« Plato, Protag. 816'. Herod. iL 49. 

'• Aristot Metaph. ii. 4. 12. Plato, Sophist. 242. (182. Bek.) 
" Such as Linus, Pamphus, Olen, bards and probably personations of Apollo ; 
and Thamyris, Tiresias, Melampus, Bacchic priests, or sophists ; names, of course, 
apocryphal as indiyiduals (Gic N. D. L 88. Herod, ii. 58 ; It. 85), with no more 
pretension to authenticity than those of Hermes, Zoroaster, or Brahma, yet really 
representing yarious Orphic or sacerdotal schools. Orpheus is the most genend and 
important of these personifications of theological tradition, including apparently both 
the Bacchic and Apollinic The common story of Orpheus is only a form of that of 
Dionysus Zagrens, descending to the shades to reooyer Eurydice or Persephone 
(Burip. Rhesus. 969), bitten in the heel by the autumnal serpent Like the vocal 
Memnon, the son of Calliope died, or, as shown in the orgies, was torn in pieces, and 
his tomb was to be seen at Libethra, at Dium, and within the precincts of Delphi. A 
recent work (Smith's Dictionary of Mythology, art Orpheus) treats as contradictory 
the testimonies of Plato and Aristotle, one admitting the existence <^ Orpheus, the 
other denying his j^enwMil existence, both of which may easily be received and 
reconciled. Of course it is not the " so-called '* Orphic poetry (r« »mXw^t9»Offmm 
Aristot), the spurious product of Pythagorean syncretism, already denounced by Hero- 
dotus (iL 58. 81), or the still later fiorgeries comprised in that now extant, but only 
the name and general character of the dogmas which can pretend to high antiquity. 
(Job. Philoponus in Lobeck, Aglaoph. p. 848.) The name of Orpheus, like that of 
the Hebrew sages, Enoch or Daniel, and perhaps also the Greek Pythagoras, must 
have possessed an established reputation which it was worth while for later preten- 
ders to assume. Had Orphism been a mere recent institution, why should Euripides 
have attached the idea of learned antiquity (Hippolytus, 958) to what arose almost 
within his own memory ? The name of Orpheus differs fi^>m that of Eumolpus, 


to the innumerable symbols and legends whose early existence 
is sufficiently attested by the influence they exerted throughout 
the whole career of poetry and even of philosophy. Homer 
himself, from the many theological allusions discoverable in 
his poems, was called an Orphic follower ^^ and Hesiod is 
properly classed among "theologers" by Aristotle". Little 
can be inferred from the Homeric silence as to mythi which 
might have been unknown in the district where the poet lived, 
or, if known, were uncongenial to the spirit of his song '*. 
For the Epic style is in direct contrast to the hieratic, out 
of which, in a certain sense, it grew ; and the mystic stories 
of Dionysus and Demeter" were unsuited to the joyous vein 
of the artist whose legendary materials were always in sub- 
servience to the aim of poetical effect. The stories of the olden 
time became divested of their import as religious mysteries when 
they were told for the object of amusement **, aud formed into 
pictures to £11 up a blank in the recollections of the past. But 
between the age of pure unconscious allegory to that of pure 
epic, between the first figurative hymns to the elements, such as 
the specimen attributed to Pamphus in Pausanias, to that of 
the Homeric stories and personifications, an interval of perhaps 
many centuries was filled up by a series of poems " of an inter- 
mediate character ", which were probably more figurative and 
significant in proportion to their antiquity ". The singing of 

Mnaeiu, &c, only in being more frequently referred to ai a theological authority 
(PaoB. ii. 80 ; iii. 14. Eurip. Rhesus. 941. Strabo, x. 471) ; it was the ritual 
and dogma attached to this time-consecrated name which Onomacritus undertook 
to amplify and interpolate, and with which the dispersed Pythagoreans amalga- 

^ Biod. S. i. 96. 

" Metaph. ii. 4. 12. Con£ ziii. 4. HeUanicus, Stun. p. 107. Viig. Eclog. 


*^ Conl MUUer, Mythol. p. 68. transl. Kleine, Schrift, 66. 90. 
» MaUer, El. Schrift, p. 91. ^ Hes. Theog. 65. 

1* Herod. iL 28. 40. Aristot. Poet. i. 4. 

** More so, probably, than even the Homeric hymns. Pans. iz. 80, ad fin. Her- 
mann and Creuzer, Briefe, pp. 16, 16. 
** Oraiz. Symb. i. 25. 74. 

M 2 


the Muses at the Olympian banquets, with Apollo for their cho- 
ragus, may be supposed in part to reflect the practice of the 
heroic age when the bard was summoned to do honour to the 
feastings of chiefs while the chorus danced ^^; but it was also 
an expression of the music of Nature, whose movements are 
separate and subordinate to the author of its harmonies. In 
course of time the deeds of men were intermingled with those of 
gods, and the stream of legend, enriched by incidents borrowed 
from familiar ceremonies and events, assumed a more imposing 
and connected form as Gigantomachies, Titantomachies, or He- 
racleas, or in the eventful stories of Argos, Thebes, and Troy*'. 
Yet even in these the religious element continued greatly to pre- 
vail over the historical; and, though it may be difficult to deter- 
mine whether Homer or Hesiod themselves understood the 
meaning of many of the stories they reported '^ it is unques* 
tionable that the actual structure of the Greek Epic, combining 
ingenious enigmas with brilliant pictures, is explicable only on 
the supposition of a physico-religious groundwork gradually 
transformed into the state in which we find them through long- 
-continued efforts of intermediary and forgotten bards. The 
clearest indications of the character of the ''pre-Homeric" poetry 
are to be found in Homer himself, in the fragments evidently of 
cosmogonical import which have been stereotyped in the ma- 
ture Epic, such as the weaving of Penelope and the Nereids, the 
punishment of Juno hung among the clouds, or of the Titans 
confined in Tartarus, the cestus of Aphrodite binding heaven 
and earth, the visit of Minos to Zeus, or of Zeus to the Ethio- 
pians, or the golden chain suspended by the father of gods and 
men from the sky "". If we ask why Dionysus is driven into the 

» Hes. Theog. 40. Iliad, i. 604. MUller's Qreek Literature, p. 22. 

'* A Titantomachy is aBcribed to Musseiu (Schol. Apollon. Rh. iiL 1178), and 
the pre-exittence of such poems is assumed when Homer supposes the hattles of the 
ancient gods, as well as the adventures of Hercules, &&, to be already known. 

** Yet it is still more difficult to believe that Homer or his hearers were entirely 
unable to feel the allusions which so greatly enhance the grandeur and beauty of his 

** Iliad, XT. 18. Compare the idea of the stone suspended firom Olympus, Schol. 


sea by Lycorgas, or why Bellerophon becomes unexpectedly 
hated by the gods and condemned to wander on the Aleian 
plain^ an answer is not to be directly obtained from Homer, 
bat from the analogous import of the stories which drove 
other gods into exile or captivity, which made Cadmus a 
slave to Mars, or Mars to the Aloid®, which forced Her- 
cules to abandon human society, Zeus to have recourse to the 
hundred-armed Mgedon, or caused the wanderings of lo, the 
Argonauts, or Ulysses**. We may often see how the laborious 
exploits and perambulations of the sun- god, undertaken on behalf 
of the human race, and in consideration of which he is pitied 
by the effeminate Ionian Mimnermus '*, have in course of time 
been shaped into a divine legend, and eventually lowered to the 
level of humanity as an heroic tale ^ ; how his diversified appear- 
ances in time and space have been separately personified as an 
array of attendant genii, pr have placed him in seeming contra- 
diction and hostility with himself. Among these transforma- 
tions the element of historical truth has been hopelessly ob- 
scured or lost, and so all-absorbing has been the mythical pro- 

Burip. Orett. 988, and the effigy of Artemis, " ««'«7;^«^nr." Pans, viil 28. 6« 
Corny, iiL 16. 2. The heavenly bodies being sometimes supposed to be attached to 
the sphere of heaven, sometimes hung from it; the latter symbol was easily changed 
into a punishment when its original meaning was no longer understood. 

** Odyss. zviii. 18 ; — on the Aleian plain, Uschold, Vorhalle, i. 251. Yolcker, 
Japetus. 178'*. Comp. the Gorybas " t^/MirXafmf/* Orph. H. xzxviii. 4. 

^ Frag. 8. Gaisf. 

^ Yorstellungen-die, wie die game Theogonie, in epischen Gewande gleichsam 
historisirt aufbeten. Die Thaten und Wandemngen des Sonnengottes sum Heile des 
menschengeschlechtesuntemommen verarbeiten sich in Folge der Zeit zn einer gotter- 
Icgende, oder auch, wenn sie anf meschliche heroen sich ubertnigen, lu einer Hel- 
densage. Y. Bohlen, Indien. L 189. 

Man lachle nicht Uber das ewige Brscheinen der Sonne und des Mondes in alien 
mythologischen deutungen. Nicht die Einseitigkeit der Brklarer, sondem die ruhig 
geftihrte Betiachtungdermeisten Namen Mythen und Attribute Yomehmer National- 
gStter fuhien unwillkurlich auf jene beiden Himmelsk5rper, die sich als die UrgStter 
des em&chen menschen darbieten. Die grosse hlUfte der Yielgdtterei entwickelt sich 
von selbst aus den attributen dieser zweL — Buttmann, Mythol. ii. 70. 


cess that even the main incidents of the story cannot he de- 
pended on as aathentic, even alliances and military expeditions 
heing found, on examination, to refer to physical phenomena^. 
Among the many symbols, whether objects or actions, which 
served the ancient bard as illustrations of the course of nature, 
we find the permanence of the world, or its vicissitudes, de- 
scribed as a succession of births or of murders, a weaving or a 
journey, a hunting match or a voyage. Thus the ship Argo, 
built by '' Argos," the details of whose adventures may have 
had their basis of fact in the obscure migrations and navigation 
of the Minyffi of lolcos, as afterwards they were undoubtedly 
modified and enlarged in proportion to the extension of geogra- 
phical knowledge, is originally the *' world renowned," '* vessel 
of Osiris or Nature, in which the sun performs his diurnal or 
annual course ;^* its commander, the husband of Medea-Here*^, 
must be an equivalent of Zeus'*, who wooed her at Corinth '^ 
attended by the twelve deities who, in other legends, travelled 
or fled with him to Egypt or Ethiopia*' ; and the cosmical na- 
vigation with twelve or fifty rowers, corresponding with the 
number of the weeks or months, like that of the daughters of 
Danaus or of Actaaon s hounds ^, is the annual expedition of 
the deity to bring back the golden fi*uit8 of Aries or of time. An 
often-recurring story told how earth withheld her increase, and 

" Miiller Or. Litenture, p. 18. 

^ " UtieifUkw^m" L e. in song. Nitssch to Odyss. ziL 70 ; toI. iii. vi. 876. 
Uschold, Vorhalle i. 884. 

» Diod. S. ir. 58. Flatarcb, Isif, ch. 22. 

» Gomp. Odyss. zii. 70. Schol. Eurip. Med. 1876. Diod. 6. ir. 55. JElian, 
V. H. V. 21. Pans. ii. 8. 6. 

^' Jason or Jaains. Gomp. Ritter's Vorhalle, p. 395, the Zeus Actseus worshipped 
on Mount Pelion where Jason was brought up (Miiller, Orchomenus, 248, 244. 260. 
Bustathius to Odyss. zyiii. 246), related to Mars, and to Hermes. 

** SchoL Pind. Olymp. xiiL 74. 

» Gomp. Plato, Phaedrus, 247. 

^ Gompare the number of the bulls of the Sun (Odyss. zii. 180), the Phseadan 
rowers, the servants of Arete and Penelope, in the Odyss. vii. 108. The Argonanti, 
like Jason himself, were personifications of the Sun-Qod. 


how a yictim was required to satisfy the gods ". The penalty 
demanded by Nature appears to be either the death of a man, 
an exile to a distant shore, or the golden or purple ram bom of 
Poseidon and Theophane '*, who either voluntarily offered him- 
self, or was brought by Hermes or Zeus as a ransom or pledge 
of security " for Fhrixus. The bull was the appropriate victim 
to Poseidon or Pluto, the ram to Aries or Zeus Laphystius. 
Each year requires its own ceremony of atonement, and the 
same divine necessity doubly personified in Ino or Juno-Ne- 
phele *', who of old deceived Ixion, and who drove the Atha- 
mantides from their home, again in her milder aspect led the 
Gretheids of lolcos in their search after the lost treasure of 
wealth and life, yet once more at the close of the expedition 
changed into the avenging Erinnys ** who murdered her chil- 
dren, and instituted the sanguinary rites of the Corinthian 
Acrea *. 

But a still more common symbol of cosmical vicissitude was 
that which, long before it was adopted as a problem by Hera- 
clitus, had been a chief ingredient in the Persian and other 
Asiatic mythologies^^ — war. War was called "the Father of 
the Universe," ^' and the changes of sympathetic nature, sup- 
posed to be reflected in the affairs of men, had been uncon- 
sciously blended with them in the legendary quarrels of Ilus 
and Tantalus **, of Hercules and Laomedon, of Ninus and Zo- 
roaster. The precedent of Nature's eternal conflict was imitated 
in the ritual of religions. We may refer to the elemental battle of 

» MiUler, Oichom. 160. 167. ^ Hyg. hb. 8 and 188. 

** Fans. ix. 22. 1. 

* Here, Themirto, Demodice, Athene- Ana, Medea woed by Zeus. Schol. Find. 
01. ziU. 74. Apollon. Rh. i. 14. ApoUod. L 9. 8. 8, Ac. Fans. iiL 24. 5. 

* L e. Medea henelf, the Gthonian aspect of the Deity, diacoverer of poiionB, 
like other Gthonian penonificationi, inch aa Una Menneridet, in Thesprotia. Gomp. 
Schol. in Apollon. iiL 200. 

« Mailer, Orchom. 264. Died. S. iy. 54. Schol. Eurip. Med. 10. 1876. Fans, 
ii. 8. 6. Fhilostrat p. 740. 
*^ Bitter, Yorh|lle, p. 444. Flato, Laws, iii. 685*. Amob. in Gent i. 6. 
*^ ** n«Xi^Mf mrnfrtff r«rfi(.*' *> Tsetses to Lyoophr. 856. 


the Titans, or of the Centaurs and Lapithae, to the title of Osiris 
as '' J^rpajfiyoi,"^^ to the mimic dances of the Salii, the Amazons, 
or the Libyan maidens of the lake Tritonis, the combat by which 
Mars was inducted to his temple at Papremis, the symbolical war 
of Eleusis ^^, and many other instances. If it be too much to say 
that the tale of Troy is a mere elemental war or calendar of the 
seasons, since it is impossible to disprove the intermixture of 
reminiscences of actual events ^^ many of its incidents and cha- 
racters are clearly symbolical ; and the entire story can now be 
treated only as a sacred legend, a drama of religious strife re- 
flecting the supposed operations of Nature *^, held in honour 
of Minerva, Aphrodite Aineias (Anaitis?), or Ephippia, or 
Diana Orthia**, virtually one with Artemis^Helena, the epic 
" cause " or heroine of the matured story. The greatness of 
Troy was a creation of poetry ; it was a divine city (Imoj 'ifn), 
its capture a divine event **. It was probably connected with 
that ancient Pelasgian mystery of the elements in which Posei- 
don, the ancestral god of the Achaean colonists of Asiatic 
^olis, offered violence, under the horse form, to Demeter, seek- 
ing her lost daughter", Persephone-Luna**, upon which the 
irritated deity became changed into an Erinnys, as Helena, too, 
seduced by Hermes- Cthonius as Paris", when the Neptunian 
horse had been placed upon the Trojan acropolis*', appeared as 
an avenging fury in Vesta's temple **, the "bane of Europe and 
of Asia," " yet still capable of assuming the form of ^' the alma 

** Plntarch, Isii, ch. 22. « Horn. H. Cerw, 267. 

** Heyne, de fide letatis Hythicae. G5ttingen Transactiona, 14. 119. Yet the 
office of Mythus ia not to relate facts, but to give to opinions the fonn of fiwts. 

*' " Belli Simulachra." Vii^. JBn. v. 686. 696. 674. Servins to v. 602. 

** Plutarch, Theseus, 16. Creuz. Symb. iii. 829. 

^ Eurip. Cyclops. 286. Eustath. to Iliad iv. 46, p. 444. 

*• Pans. viii. 26. 

*' Identical with fielenft, Eurip. Helen. 1668. Orest. 1662. Isoctat Helen. 
Enc 27. 

w Pans. IV. 80. 2. " Horn. Odyss. viil 611. 

M iEschyl. Agam. 726. Yirg. JEn. ii. 678. 610. In the Iliac table she flies to 
the temple of Aphrodite. Maseo Capitolino, vol. 4. pL 68. p^ 362. 

" Pans. X. 12. 1. 


parens ''^ of Eneas'*. The city built by the elements*^ whose 
existence is mysteriously dependent on the bones of Neptune's 
favourite^ Felops, at once the palladium of its safety and token 
of its ruin ^^, fell through the instrumentality of the emblem 
which made Pelops victorious*', the horse, now typical of the 
watery close of the seasons ^^ and the years of the duration of 
the strife in allusion to the ancient division of months equalled 
those of the conflict of gods and Titans 'S and the number 
of the heroes instrumental in the catastrophe ''. The events of 
the Odyssey, another tale of solar circumnavigation which, both 
in its entirety and in its details, was already allegorised among 
the ancients*', might have found their parallel among many 
analogous memorials of Greek tradition if the latter could have 
found their poet '^. It abounds with physical and cosmogonical 
allusions current in the poet's time, though not perhaps under- 
stood by the generality of his hearers. Much of its machinery 
was doubtless taken from earlier Argonautics and Nostoi, the 
latter being chiefly founded on speculative ideas respecting the 
disappearance and backward course of the sun. To understand it 
we should bear in mind the theory according to which the earth 
is an island or disc, like that of Achilles' shield, surrounded by 
the water of Oceanus '* ; and that the disappearance of the sun 

•• Viig. JRn, ii 691. 602. 

*' By Apollo and Neptune, L e. fire and water; to whom Pindar adda a third 
architect, iBaou, probably meaning Earth. 01. vii. SO. 

" Volcker, Japetas, p. 862. 

** According to ^schylus, at the setting of the Pleiades* Agam. 782, Bothe. 

"* The sea, the "unfruitful,'' the end of the sun's diurnal and annual career. 
Hence the death of Hercules in the centaur's coat, of ^dipus at Golonos " Hippies," 
Theseus, Myrtilus, Buto, &c., drowned in the sea. Comp. Odyss. viii. 511, and the 
stories of Hippotes, Hehuiippos, &e. Mikller, Eleine, Schrift ii. p. 89. 

•* ApoUod. i. 2. 1. Hes. Th. 686. IKod. S. iv. 64. 

^ Iliad, xii. 15. Hennann, Briefe, p. 20» 

^ Creuzer, Briefe, pp. 121. 128. 125, &c. 

** Comp. Creuzer, Symb. iii. 888, speaking of the Boeotian legend of the destruction 
of the suitors of OaUrrhoe. 

** Uckert, Gfeoig. i. 2, p. 7, sq. 


on one side, followed by his reappearance on the other, neces- 
sarily presumes some unseen path of communication from west 
to east; for example, the nether, or '^backward flowing" 
ocean ^'. At midsummer, when the nights are shortest, the sun's 
movement in azimuth makes his path bend northwards, and, 
the sphere of night being thus contracted, it might be conceived 
that, from an elevation, such as the lofty fortress of the Laestry- 
gones *^, it might almost be possible for the eye to discern that 
point to the north-west or east where day and night salute each 
other "', and where the Hor» preside over the gates of heaven'*. 
In consequence of this notion, the land of Circe, daughter of 
Helios, reached by Ulysses after a long navigation westward, is 
identical with the dwelling of her brother ^etes in the east, the 
scene of the " choruses of Eos and of the sun's rising." ^^ In 
this way arose the double tradition as to the Argonautio navi- 
gation to the Libyan seas and to the Euxine^'; the existence 
of an isle of Erithya^^ of Cimmerians and ''jostling rocks" both 
in the east and west ; the saillhg of Hercules in the golden cup 
of Helios from Mauiitania to Perke, Perge, or Thrace'"; the 
supposed crescent-form of the land of the Hyperboreans ^\ and 
the corresponding apportionment of Ethiopia ^^. One of the 
most striking incidents in the adventures of Ulysses, as in 

** " K^t^tH'** Odyss. XX. 64, or the caye of Gacus, or of the Garian Zeus, 
through which the bull was diawn backward ; or the tubtenene pan through which 
Proteus returned " like a mole," from Thrace to Egypt : 

" Nf^ty 4mX.m^0ns arfmirauf %tnfv^mi 
Ktv4fiU0f9g u rai^yyi rir^jimf ft,vx*v$" 

(Lycophr. Cass. 122.) 
the houie of Froteua being the house of Hades. Burip. Helen. 62. 69. 

^ Odyss. X. 86. •• Hes. Th. 748. 

•• Iliad, V. 749. Od. xxiy. 12. 

** Odyss. xii. 4. Muller, Orchom. 270. sq. Aetes, husband of Hecate (SchoL 
Apollon. iii. 200), is king of the underworld, where the confines of night and day 
are confounded. Oomp. Mimnermus in Strnbo, L 47. 

" Herod, iv. 179. " Orph. Argon. 1061. 

'* Steph. Bya. ^* Uckert, ii. 2. p. 5. 

« Odyss. L 28. 


those of several other heroes^ is his descent to Hades. Many 
of the legendary elements in the account are supposed to have 
heen derived from the scenery and local ceremonies of Thes- 
protia^'. But the original blending of the realm of the sun 
^th that of the shades, upon which the ceremonies as well as 
the poem were founded, must have been mythical or ideal. 
When Ulysses sets sail from the isle of Circe, the latter probably 
a personification of the boundary of the horizon of the upper 
world, he is on his way to the objects she had pointed out, the 
" house of Hades and of dread Persephone," in order to consult 
the blind prophet Tiresias ^^. With tears he launches his dark 
vessel on the sea, '' sis aKa, iiav*''^^ and after sailing all day with 
a favourable wind, he arrives at sunset, ''when the world is 
wrapt in gloom," at the boundaries of the "deep flowing 
Oceanus," ^* and the city of the Cimmerians, whose darkness is 
never dispelled by the sun throughout his diurnal course from 
rising to setting. He there evokes the dead ; then sails from 
outer ocean back into the sea, '' BaTuxca-a" and when he returns 
to the Circean isle, whose site had been so clearly fixed in the 
west^, he finds there the gates of morning and of Aurora". 
It may thus be inferred that the voyage of Ulysses is a picture 
of the navigation of the sun through the under world, the path 
afterwards followed by the spirits of the suitors. His crew are 
addressed as "twice dying" (3i(r6ay£Ej);'* and perhaps the 
number of repetitions of the mysterious visit to the " meadow 
of Asphodel" may be raised at least to three; the first being 
the detention of the hero with Calypso, " Concealment," i. q. 
Leto, daughter of Oceanus, or of Atlas whose post was on the 
extreme verge of day and night''; and a third instance his 
abode with the Phaeacians, from whom he returns to consum- 
mate his vengeance by the destruction of the suitors on the 

^ MttUer, Mythol. S62. Bq. Tmnsl. 297. Faas. i. 17. 5. 

" Od. X. 401. « xi. 2. 

*• xi 18. *» MiiUcr, Orchom. 272. 

•' xii. 4. « xii, 22. 

•• Tbeog. 748 


great anniversary festiyal of Apollo. The land of the heaven- 
bom'^ Ph»acians, remote and unassailable by man**^ called 
Soheria'*, where^ as in Elysium ^» reigned an eternal harvest 
and an eternal spring*'^ and where Halios and Laodamas (manr 
queller), i. e. Helios and Pluto, hurl to and fro, ''among the 
clouds," the ball of Polybus'', a ball doubtless identical in 
meaning with the vast discus used by Ulysses — 

is a representation of the starry heavens, the area of the alter- 
nate revolution of the solar disc, or rather the under hemisphere 
beyond the bounds of ocean *', through which, in a dark vessel, 
Ulysses in deathlike sleep, like Helios in Mimnermus*', is 
conveyed at nightfall to awake at day- break in Ithaca ". The 
palace of Alcinous, ''radiant as sun and moon,"*' is said 
to be close to the dwelling of Minerva s father'^; its brazen 
walls (x«^*£Of, or ttoxux^^^os oufavo;), covered with an azure en- 
tablature, are guarded by the immortal dogs of Hephaestus**; 
within, golden figures (itowfot***) bear the torches of» night *^, and 
the Phesacian princes enjoy a perpetual feast **. 

•* *'Ayx»^" Comp. Odyts. ziz. 279. SchoL Apollon. Bh. It. 992. Stan. 
Frag. Acnsilai. 

" "Very distanV' it is particulariy mentioned "from Enbcea" (vii. 821) ; pro- 
bably because Bubcea passed for the extreme east, as Scberia for the commencement 
of the lower world in the west 

** Odyss. vi. 8. 202. 204. They had been removed from "Hypereia" by the 
dinue, but since deceased, " Naosithous,** vi. 4. 

•» lb. iv. 667. " vil 118, 119. 

■• yiii. 870. Polybus, a title of Hermes~;t^«"'f* 

•• Hes. Th. 749. •' Frag, viil QaisC 

" Odyss. xiii. 80. 36. 74. 119, &c. •» vii. 84. 

•« viL 29. Comp. 206, i. e. the brazen heavens. Iliad, i. 426 ; viii. 876. 893. 

•• lb. 91. 

** The Titans, too, are " jmv^ w^tmnt" Orph. Frag, viil 40. 

•» lb. 100. 

" Ib.99. Comp. Plutarch. 17. Diog. Laert. vill46. Anacreon, xix. 8. 
i. e. the feast of terrestrial exhalation. Porphyr. de Antro. 11. The bathing, danc- 
ing, and singing of the Phseadans, coupled with their alleged inferiority in wrestling 
and pugilism (viil 246), seem to intimate the stars rather than the genii of the sun 


The general result of the poetic development in Greece was 
to reduce to some degree of uniformity a vast variety of scat- 
tered mythi**. Political confederation had helped to bring the 
worships of the various gods into closer contact " Amphic- 
tyonic sacra and national sanctuaries were formed; and the 
ancient bardic schools cooperated with these external influences 
by establishing a confederation of the gods, in which indeed 
many an earlier worship was cast into the shade, and many 
a time-honoured deity brought down to a lower rank." "®. The 
evolutions of the dynasties of gods, like those of the physical 
universe, were represented in epic style as a series of battles, 
ending in the victory of estabUshed personifications. Tet these 
conquerors were metaphysically the kindred and children of 
those whom they displaced, and in many cases seem to have 
differed from them only as more distinctly personal and dra- 
matic. The foundation of the theology of the Epic, as of all 
religious expression, was the Pantheistic feeUng, a modification 
of it however which contemplated nature as full of gods rather 
than of Grod^'^S and which, without denying its unity, delighted 
more in contemplating its infinite varieties. This religion of 
the fancy may be presumed to be meant by the "nameless 

as interpreted by Uacliold. (Vorhalle, ii. 261, sq.) The FhsacianB had been ex- 
poeed, when in " Hypereia," to the annoyances and yiolences of the Cyclopes, who 
were stronger than themselTes, and, on this acconnt, they had been remoYed to 
" Scheria," by the now deceased Nausithons, son of Poseidon, who, as emblem of the 
waters, is general author of repose and restoration to the heavenly powers (Comp. 
Iliad, L 40S ; TiiL 440. 485, &c.) The fleet of the Phseadan youth move with ad- 
mirable rapidity and precision to the divine music of Demodocns, and their unex- 
ampled skill in navigation, which they place at the service of all who apply to 
them for assistance, belongs in great measure to their charmed vessels, those " ani- 
mated beings " ({[«« *«(•)> which know their destined port, steering of themselves 
without rudder or pilot (viiL 555), acquainted well with every coast and people in their 
way, though wiapt in gloom and vapours, and crossing the abyss swiftly and silently 
between evening and sunrise. 

*• Miiller, MythoL 212 (trans. 152). 

'•• lb. 805 (or 872). 

**i "nurrm wXii^ euff," Nitssch (to Odyss. vol. i. pp. 15, 16), says "Der 
Panthaismus in der Oriechenwelt setxt nicht einen Weltgeist, sondem er setxt die 
Welt Toll Geister." 




gods" attributed by Herodotus '^ to the Felasgi, an expression 
seeming to imply that the feeling had been to a certain extent 
analysed, but that the analysis had not been finally or delibe- 
rately completed; it had not been reduced to distinct con- 
ceptions or to the regular forms of art The epic treatment of 
theology, consisting in a reduction of diversified materials to 
system, presumed a previous process of disintegration and the 
local elaboration of traditions. As the language of Greece was 
split into many dialects ^*°, so its religion had assumed a variety 
of local forms ; these, gradually intermingling with each other 
through increased intercourse, were still more brought into 
connection by a race of poets whose utterance was compara- 
tively firee from reUgious restraints, and who afterwards adopted 
more or less unreservedly the office of professed theorists or 
expositors, until mythology became a complicated web whose 
source it was difficult to unravel in proportion to the success of 
these artificial combinations. It was said to have been Deu- 
calion, the great ancestor or god of the ^olian .tribes, the 
presumed father of Amphictyon, or the Amphictyonic league ^^, 
whose renown, spread over all the countries from Epirus to 
Athens, accompanied the migrations of the tribes who wor- 
shipped him*"*, who first established the worship of the twelve 
great gods, the same as those afterwards canonised by the 
Dorians, or by Hercules*"*, recognised, that is, by general con- 
sent of the later Greeks, by the confederates at Olympia *^, or 
rhj the twelve Attic curies. A Scandinavian legend describes 
/poetry as a liquor composed by mixing honey with the blood 
^j of a giant who had been suffocated by his own wisdom, and 
/" proceeds to tell how the mead so made, with the inconsiderable 
exception of a driblet caught up by ignoble poetasters, was 

»« Bk. ii. ch. 62. »« Iliad, ii 884 ; ir. 487. 

>•* Paua. X. 8. 

'0* Comp. Hellanici Frag. Stan. pp. 71, 72. Schol Apollon. Bh. ii. 584; iii 
1085—6. Herod, i. 66. Strabo, ix. 432. Sitter, Vorballe, 896. 397. 
»•• Apollod. iL 7. 2. Schol. Find. 01. y. 10. 
»•» Find. 01. X. 69. 


appropriated by the gods. Deucalion is probably himself a 
symbol of the chief god whose worship he founded, his sons 
being sons of Zeus ^^ ; but, since all deities in human minds and 
mouths are but imperfect and fugitive conceptions, it is more 
correct to say that the institution ascribed to the god was in 
reality the work of the intelligence inspired by him, that the poet 
created the conception, rather than that the conception created 
itself. It was probably through the popularity of the bards of 
Pieria, where Orpheus sang and was buried ^^, and where the 
Aloidffi first sacrificed to the Muses "^ that the results of 
poetical arrangement were placed by general consent on Thes- 
salian Olympus. Homer, who, as well as Hesiod, was reputed 
a descendant from Orpheus, that is, a scion of the old stock of 
Thracian inspiration, naturally referred his pantheon to the 
original mountain of the Muses ; but, in the course of the devo- 
lution of song firom Pieria to the coasts of Ionia, its forms of 
expression had changed. The minstrel had become separated 
firom the priest ^*\ and the songs composed to amuse the chiefs 
at their banquets were very different fi*om those which had of 
old proceeded firom the groves of Dodona or the valleys of 
Olympus. Poetry, no longer a mere instrument of religious 
expression, had become a cultivated art. The opulence of the 
Asiatic cities supplied that present ease which could repose 
quietly yet enthusiastically among the contemplations of the 
past, and the encouragement given to poetical genius by 
princes descended from the renowned heroes of the mythic age 
induced the bard to select a theme"' most flattering to his 
patrons among ancestral traditions and recollections. In 
recitids of chivalrous deeds suited to this purpose, the gods 

1* Eurip. Ion, 68. Apollod. i. 7. 2. 7. 

'• Pans. iz. 29, 80. Apollod. i. iii. 2. 

"* Apollod. i. 7. 4. Heyne, de Rel. Hniar. Comment. Qotting. yol. viii. Het. 
Theog. 58. 62. 

*" Although priests were still looked up to with deference in the Homeric age 
(Comp. H. V. 78. Odyss. zyil 384), it has been supposed that the treatment of 
Galchas and Idodes indicate a breech between priests and poets. 

"' Comp. Aristoph. Frogs, 1085. 


were made to take their share in the general excitement of 
human enterprise, and eventually became a mere machinery to 
support or account for heroic action^ being themselves repre* 
sented as heroes of a higher class. As in the artificial de- 
velopment of the epic style single adventures, such as the 
stories of the wooden horse, or of the strife of Ulysses and 
Achilles"', were formed into groups and rounded into a whole 
to satisfy curiosity, so the names, habitations, and functions of 
the gods began to take the form of an organised doctrine or 
system reflecting the ideas and habits of the heroic age, con- 
necting each romance by familiar imagery, but at the same 
time becoming more and more estranged from the theosophy 
or mysticism of its origin. The genial spirit of Homer is as 
averse to the mystical as to the melancholy, and, looking to the 
finished Epic independently of its preparatory stages, it would 
seem as if in its earliest developments poetry had receded most 
widely from its original form and objects. In the so-called 
Homeric hymns, particularly in some of the shorter ones "*, we 
may indeed still partially see the process through which re- 
ligious poetry, the hymnology descended from Thamyris and 
Pamphus, had quitted its primary aim, and how the invocation 
to the muse or god had become a mere a(^unct or introduction 
to the tale of human action '". The gods were thus humanised 
as their gift of song was secularised, and the traces to be found 
in Homer of the old hieratic forms are but incidental results 
of the scrupulously reverential treatment of traditions. Through 
the principle of association, many divinities who, unknown to 
the first worshippers of the nymphs of Libethra had taken 
their places in the train of Zeus, were limited in their prero- 
gatives and dwellings ; the superior gods being generally con- 
fined to the upper world, while Hades was restricted to his 

»«3 Odyss. yiii. 78. 

*'^ Evidently incomplete in themselves, as, for instance, Hymn, xxxL 18; zxzii. 
18, where the hymn closes with, " Beginning with thee, I now proceed to sing of 
the heroes about whom poets are wont to sing,'* &c. 

"» Comp. Odyss. viii. 499. Hcs. Theog. 48. 


proper dominion"^ and others whose fdnctions stood more 
aloof from military or political action were either passed over 
in comparative silence, or transformed, like Hermes and the 
Cyclops, from migratory beings into the ministers of a sta- 
tionary one. Every story became a centre ronnd which kin- 
dred mythi were arranged, and in which local personifications 
were absorbed or subordinated^"; and the humanizing and 
externalizing process of the Epic art somewhat resembled that 
in which a conquering nation takes the venerated idols of 
another in order to enrich its museums or to ornament the 
squares of its capitals. So that, closing a long succession of 
poetical effort by which mythology was remodelled. Homer 
might be said to have contributed to " create Greek theology," 
as the code of Justinian created the civil law, by forming a 
convenient and popular summary of its contents, which con- 
tinued for ever after the standard of authority and reference. 
In the genuine Epic the conceptions of the gods are as far 
removed from the hieratic form as the busy life of the heroes 
from theological speculation. But between the life-like Epic 
and the sombre Orphic style^ between the picturesque cmd 
eventful romance in which the gods are the mere machix^Qiry of 
a human drama, and the mystical symbols of theological meta^ 
physics, there must have been many varieties in the treatment 
of religious legend tending to reduce its fragmentary materials 
to the consistent and positive forms in which they were found 
by Homer. The Epic had been already cultivated to a con- 
siderable extent in Greece proper before the establishment of 
the colonies which brought it to maturity, and the rude Orphio 
or priestly strains out of which all Greek poetry was a develop- 
ment, must be supposed to have continued their wild laments 
or stately paeans in the original country of the Muses, espe- 
cially in Boeotia, so rich in ancient temples, traditions, and 

"• Horn. H. Ccreg, 87. 

*** As, for instance, when Hercules, the Bioscnri, &c., take part in the Aiigo- 
nautic expedition under the command of Jason. 

VOL. I. N 


ceremonies"'. Very different from the joyons and sensuoas 
tone of the Homeric Epic was the feeling of the Boeotian or 
Hesiodic songs. Instead of a confident self-abandonment to 
impressions of the beautiiiil, a serene contemplation of the 
chivalrous actions of the past, the Bcsotian bard seems op- 
pressed with a painful sense of the difficulties and privations of 
the present. Poetry with him is indeed an art, yet not so much 
an ornamental as a useful one ; its chief object is to dissemi- 
nate the religious feeling which may teach men to bear the ills 
of life, or the maxims of civil and domestic wisdom which 
alleviate them. Beyond this it might prove a solace to the 
careworn "^ and the bard, though often suffering the iron 
tyranny described in the fable of the nightingale '"^^ might yet 
hope to exercise a wholesome influence over the will of his 
arbitrary masters"*. He describes his "call" or appointment 
to the (^ce of minstrel by the Muses during one of their 
excursions from Pieria to the Boeotian Mount Helicon, where 
it was their custom to go forth through the country by night 
singing, as in the house of their Olympian father, the deeds 
and generadcms of men and gods, both the actual gods of 
Ol3nBpus, and the primitive Powers of Nature. It was on one 
of these occasions that they accosted the shepherd Hesiod^ 
accompanying the investiture of the laurel bough, the insignia 
of his poetic office, with an address "' seemingly implying the 
unstudied and original nature of the inspiration which they 
gave, and also the serious character of this peculiar school as 
opposed to others admitting a freer play of fancy *'''\ The claim 
of originality, however, must be limited to the distinctive cha- 
racter of the school or the personal endowment of the indi- 

"» MttHer, Grcek Litt 80, 81. "• Theog. t. 56. 

»» Woiki, 202. Comp. 176. *" " B«#iAMf." Thisog. 80. 90. tq. 

>*» Theog. V. 26. 

m t€ Ye countiy shepherds, rank in sloth and sensoality, it is true we often tell 
fiilsehoods resembling truths, yet we know too how to utter truths when it pleases 



vidaal poet The general form of the " didactic Epic" is a con- 
tinuation of that ancient sacerdotal poetry which legend describes 
as originally imported by the Muses from the Thracian north ; 
its materials are no inventions of the iBolian Boeotians, but 
either derived from the prolific stores of the ancient inhabitants 
of the land, the Thracians, Minyans, and Gadmeans, or filled 
op out of the more distinct and matured ideas which were the 
general result of the continuous developments of the Epic. 
The Muses who originally settled in Boeotia were declared by 
the poet Mimnermus to have been not the nine daughters of 
ZexjtB, but the three children of Uranus ^^*. It was these elder 
deities who sang the marriage song of Harmonia^** and re- 
ceived the homage of the Pierian Aloidse^ who^ in a remote age 
long anterior to the time of the commencement of Asiatic 
colonization, might be said to have begun the regions strain 
which Hesiod, not probably uninformed of the later cotem- 
porary triumphs of the Asiatic Epos, more artificially and sue* 
oessfolly continued. The attribute of Orphic descent applies 
more spedfically to Hedod than to Homer. The former 
represfflits Orphic thought in a more transparent dress; bis 
poetry is but the vehicle of his religion ; he addresses not the 
easy life of the lonians, but a social condition of hardship, and 
probably of oppression, in which the only resource of the weak 
beyond patient endurance was in appealing to the broad prin- 
ciples of justice, and in upholding the terrors of religion. 
Hence the sacerdotal and oracular style of Hesiod, his pro- 
fession of the hymn^'^ while using the language of the Epic, 
his treatment of the labours of the year as dep^ding on the 
ordinances of heaven, his directions for the superstitious ob- 
servance of omens and seasons, and particularly his intimation 
of the vigilance of the inspecting demons, and of the inevitable 
retribution ^^ of the gods ''*. It was in the same feeling that 

«** Pan*, ix. 29. 2. « Paul. ix. 12. 8. 

>«• Comp. Th«og. 87, Ac. Worlu, 655. 

"* "OwH." Woikf, 187. 261. 706. 

^" Ulrid, G«ichichte der Hellen. Dichiknnat vol. i. 

N 2 


the poet reyerted to the old themes of Boeotian song as enu- 
merated in the prefatory address of the Theogony, that of 
divination ^^^ and the task of ascertaining the divine names, 
offices, and successions. The spirit of an older theology 
in which the world was represented as regenerating itself, in 
the coniusion of objects with ideas made the birth of a new 
conception appear as the birth of a new god. In order to 
connect and reconcile the bewildering variety of traditions, 
a relation of sonship was assumed between the older and 
younger beings, and, as the world's youth overcomes its age, 
the latter were inferred to have conquered and banished their 
parents. In this way arose the '"Purana," or heroic Theo- 
gony, relating the divine histories and generations, either inci- 
dentally among details of human prowess as in Homer, or as 
in Hesiod addressed to a peacefiil and superstitious audience, 
to whom the most important object of information was the 
nature and peculiarities of the gods^**. Many poets had already 
tried their skill upon the same materials before the Boeotian 
school of bards, who had transplanted the soul as well as the 
bones of Orpheus from Fieria to homonymous sites upon 
HeUoon and Parnassus, succeeded in giving to mythology^ 
considered as a mere religious theory, the permanent forms of 
art''^ The attempt at system still remains incomplete and dis- 
jointed in proportion to the distinctness with which we can yet 
see the hieratic character of the materials ; the unity consisting 
only in an external adoption of the Epic style, and in ascribing 
the evolution of the rehgion of the day to a continuous series of 
genealogies and battles. 



No writer on mythology is sceptical enough to assert its 
memorials to be without meaning, nor, on the other hand, so 

»» V. 88. »»• Conip. Thoog. 429, 480, tq. 

^*i M'uUer, MythoL 806 (872). Heyne, on Hetiod, in the Gottingen Tnuiflp 
actionf, toL xl 1779. 


credolous as to claim to possess an infallible key for the solu- 
tion of its puzzles. Mythology is poetry ; and it is impossible 
to deny the truth of the remark that a familiarity with anti- 
quity and a feeling cultivated by endeavouring to place our- 
selves in the situation of the children of the world, and by 
abandoning the mind to the natural impulses they tried to 
express \ may suggest analogies really connecting the various 
forms of thought, and reliable illustrations of the earliest his- 
tory of the mental world. There are, however, some general 
inferences which may be considered as independent of imagina- 
tion, and among the best authenticated is a general presump- 
tion as to the presence of a substratum of physical meaning, it 
being certain that the action of external nature on the mind 
was religion's first prompter, expositor, and corrupter'. The 
genealogies of the gods are allowed to be a physical account of 
nature*; the natural philosophy or rather belief of a rude age 
preserved in the form of narrative; a theory succinctly ex- 
pressed in the inscription of the mythical repository of Apollo- 
dorus, affirming it to contain 

In regard to Greek mythology this physical character is em- 
phatically attested by its best writers. Plato makes Socrates 
say* that " the early Greeks esteemed those only as gods who 
are still worshipped by most of the barbarians, the sun, the 
moon, the earth, the stars and the heaven ;" an opinion con- 
firmed by the impressive formularies of adjuration preserved in 
ancient poetry*; for the antique, as Aristotle observes*, is ever 

* " Eine gewiate Begeisterang auch dem M jthologen kanm fefalen darf." MiiUer, 
in Beriew of Crauser. Gotting. Gel. Anz. 1825. Grenzer, Briefe, p. 89. sq. This 
b admitted to be true, eren by Lobeck (Aglaoph. p. 179), who, however, dedarei 
that be was ''never guilty of taking a nap on Famauns." 

* Diod. S. 1 11. Fhilo de Confus. JAng. 894. Clem. Alex. Protr. 22. Wisd. 
cb. 18. 

' " ^u^iun 'tmynwtt «•«» «*Tar».*' ScboL Hes. Th. Pr. 

* Cratylui, 897'. Comp. Crens. Symb. iv. 481. 

« Hom. Iliad, iiL 276. iBscbyl. Prom. 88. Sopb. iBd. Tyr. 661. Payne 
Knigbty Anct Art, sec 217. 

* Metapb. i. 8. 6. 


the most venerated^ (md an oatb^ as the most solemn of all 
acts, naturally adopted the most venerated sanctions. Aristotle 
himself, in a remarkable passage^ bears similar testimony to the 
first nature worship of his country^, adding, that the earliest 
conceptions of the diirinity of Nature were pantheistic. When, 
therefore, the Felasgi are said to have made their vows to 
" Gods" in general, without assigning particular names to 
them', the meaning is that they invoked the elements or other 
natural objects without marking the attributes of the Being or 
Beings addressed as striptly individual ; they worshipped them 
as powers, not as persons ; the humanizing process had not as 
yet been completed; and the apportionment of appropriate 
offices and departments to eao]i of the tenants of Olympus, 
nominally made by Zeus', but in ]:eality by the poets, had not 
yet been thought of. The Deity wa^ felt^ as in the Vedas", to 

• " Our incetton and men of the most remote anHqnltj luiTe handed down to poi* 
terity a tradition inyolved in mythological fonn, that tke heavenly bodiet are gods, 
and thoA iht divinity comprehends and surroundt the whole qf nature* The rest, 
indeed, is fiibulously introdaced for the purpose of persaading the multitude, enfbic- 
ing the Liws, and benefiting human life ; for they pretend that these beings are in 
human form, and resemble other animals, and they Hssert other things consequent 
upon and similar to these. But if, among these assertions, any one separating the 
rest retains only the first, riz., that they esteemed the first existencies (Mwi«f) to be 
gods, he will think it to have been divinely said ; and that, as it is probable that 
every art and philosophy has often been invented, and, after attaining the utmost 
limit of possible perfection, has again perished and been lost, he might infer that 
these opinions are precious relics fortunately preserved out of the fingments of an- 
tiquity up to the present time. Of tlie opinions of oi^r fi&thers and of the earliest 
of mankind, thus much only Is known to us.** Metapb. zi. 8. s. 19. p. 236. Bek. 
Oomp. Bavaasson, vol. i pp. 103. 197. The only difficulty in the passage is to de- 
termine the relation of the word " §¥r»i" which Q&ttling (Pre&ce to Hesiod, p. 48) 
would wrest from its plain meaning. The subjects referred to are the heavenly 
bodies and the spheres or epicycles supposed by astronomers to be the causes of their 
movements. The •iru would thus be in the first piaoe the bodies thamsdves; 
secondarily, the principles or causes acting on them, qdled **f§^t" " mmtniTM 
mrttu" and " ^^trau 0vrt»i.** 

• Herod, ii. 62. 

• Hesiod, Th. 74. 112. 885. ^schyL Prom. 237. 

** The best commentary on the much canvassed passage in Herodotus is the 


be one, though multiform ; His unity was not as yet so broken^ 
nor the varieties of his manifestations so definitively fixed as 
to be subjeoted to that process by which the mind devises an 
individual name for every thing which it has once clearly per- 
ceived and acknowledged to be distinct The Pelasgian Zeus, 
as collective divinity of natural religion, may have been in part 
analogous to the being whom the Persians adored as the 
" vault or circle of heaven,"" an idea which philosophy after- 
wards endeavoured to restore" in order to counteract the fan- 
tastical creed invented by the poets. It is not unreasonable to 
suppose that some such reminiscence survived in the theogonic 
series under the name of Uranus, in Hesiod still a part of 
Nature, who, like Brahma, had no known temples or altars'*, 
and whose worship, like that addressed in China to the corre- 
sponding name of *' God of Heav^" '* was yet unmixed with 
the gross symbols of superstition. For though predicates may 
often be seen theoredcaUy severed from the personifications to 
which they belong, and cannot, in their isolation, be presumed to 
have been objects of worship, yet they indicate real conditions 
or modifications of the ideas connected with the personifications, 
and cannot be considered as arbitrary inventions of the poet con- 
Bistently with the confidence ever reposed in his authority '*. 
The Theogony seems to blend three distinct cosmogonic 

" Herod, i. 181. Comp. Eira i. 2. 

** Aristot. Metaph. i 6. 2. Euiipid. Fng. Incert. i. 2. 

'* Uiiiiiiu, placed by Apollodorus i 1, at the head of a dynasty, and reckoned a 
mortal king by the Euhemerist Diodonu (iii. 56), did not escape entirely the per- 
sonifying tendency of the poets, as may be seen in the word " traru^in,** expressing 
his connection with G«a (Theog. 177); he has been compared to the Indian Va- 
ronna (Lassen, Ind. A. i 758), and to '* Hiranya," a predicate of Brahma, who in 
Hindoo legend is mutilated by Siya, as Uianns by Cronus. Ghiigniaut, R. i. 243"« 
244. 645. Sometimes the name is deriyed from «/^, " the lofty ;" Hermann trans- 
lates it "Snpems;" another etymology is that from ^'!\l^, the source of "light" 

^ Tien. Dens or Zeus is the Sanscrit Djaus, heaven ; whence Dianus or Janus^ 
DiomedeSy &c. Jupiter or Diespiter is reproduced in Diyaspati, a name of Indra.. 
Lassen's Ind. Antiq. i. 765. 

'* GdttUng observes, truly, that if Pherecydes, Acusilaus, and Eumelus had 
thought the theogony the mere invention of a poet, they would not have taken so 
much pains to interpret it (Pref. p. xliv.) ; it seems inconsistent^ when he afterwards 


principles, each attended with its corresponding train of gene* 
rated beings ; first, the births from Gsa, Erebus, and Night, 
or upper and under darkness, followed by those of Styx, 
Leto, Sec., according to the notion of Cthonian religion that 
darkness preceded day, and that all things arose out of the 
depths of earth, *' young K£v$fAOiv;" secondly, the generations 
from water, virtually the progeny of Poseidon " yevtdxtof" 
agreeing with the " Oceanic" theory mentioned in Homer, and 
of which the first and most striking example is the birth of 
Aphrodite out of the sea, virtually including in her own person 
all Melian nymphs'^; and, thirdly, the system more familiarly 
known which eventually overshadowed what had preceded it, 
attributing universal parentage to Zeus, who thus supersedes 
all other ancestors, and becomes, even in Homer, superior to 
Oceanus himself". Urania**, Nike'', Helios, are repro- 
duced among his descendants as Tritogeneia, Aphrodite, 
daughter of Dione, Apollo, Perseus, &c. ; he "binds" the 
older gods, or rather absorbs their attributes, especially tteir 
generating power, and the Homeric Zeus and Hera sleep under 
the influence of the same Cestus which had of old cemented 
the union of Oceanus and Tethys. Other beings had existed 
and given birth to successive generations ; but Zeus was the 
first who exercised a moral power, or, as Aristotle says**, 
"reigned." These varying cosmologies, however, are not so 
inconsistent as they at first appear. If we consider the close 
connection in Grecian idea between the depths of earth and of 
sea, the intimate relation of Poseidon to Pluto", Poseidon 

describes (p. xlvi.) the whole plan of the poem as a political manoeuTre, and makes 
the " Titan " gods a device of the " ancient inventors of mythology," in order, by 
relating their conquest by Zens, to give greater respect to the authority of kings. 

»• Yolcker, Japetus, 821. 324. " Comp. Iliad, xxi. 196. 

« Til. 8J50. i» 384. 

^ Hetaph. ziii. 4. 

'* Powers often personified as one ; for instance,pn Dionysus, Neleus, Eumolpus, 
tec., and whose attributes are locally confounded, as at Onchestus, Colonos, Pylus, 
&c, the horse and bull being sacred to both. Poseidon is &ther of Periclymenus 
i. e, Pluto. ApoUod. i 9, 9. 


being said to close the brazen doors of Hades "^ and Hades to 
descend and reascend through the waters of Poseidon**; more- 
oyer, that Oceanus as well as Pontus are sons of Gtea, it will 
not be doing much violence to the feeling of the poet if all the 
lines of generation be resolved into two, the Uranian or su- 
pernal, and the Cthonian. The first " existences/' however, 
are neither Zeus nor Uranus ; but Chaos, Gaea, and Tartarus. 
The earliest creative developments are firom below, from the 
depths of Tartarus, where are the sources and foundations of 
the world ^. Uranus is but a secondary personage ; he owes 
his existence to his wife Gsea, and his generating power is soon 
extinct. Many of the children of Gaoa are independent of a 
father; those engendered by Uranus are "hated" by him 
" fix>m the beginning." and immediately hid from his presence, 
so that even these (the Titans), like the children of Bhea, may 
be said to owe their birth almost exclusively to their mother**. 
G«a, called by ^schylus and Pindar the ''All-mother," the 
*' common parent of men and gods," is synonymous with Cthon 
or Cthonia'*, with Rhea*^, and with Demeter'*; the Titan sons 
of Gaea are in ^schylus sons of Cthon**; GrSBa is first and 
oldest of Cthonian powers'*; the terrene includes the subter- 
rene ; Cthonian and Catacthonian are the same, even Tartarus 
being sometimes a part of G8Ba*^ Geea is mother of Uranus 
for the same reason that night brings forth day ; and the share 
taken by Uranus in developing the Titanic beings and meteoric 
agents described as previously hid within the womb of earth **, 
seems, when considered in connection with their immediate 
concealment and unexplained escape, to be only a mode of 
intimating their alternate nature as belonging in part to the 
upper world, though originating and generally dwelling in the 

" Theog. 782. 

"* Hymn to Ores, xxxviii. 881. Orph. Argon. 1192. 

^ T. 809. •» Comp. V. 168, 169. 479. 626. 884. 

•• Fherecjd. Star*, p. 40. " Comp. v. 479. 

» Pftui. ii. 86. 4 ; iiL 14. 6. ^ Prom. 206. Bom. 6. 

** JEtchyl. Pen. Bothe, 698. 607. '* t. 841. Comp. 119. 721. 786. 

» T. 140. 606. 


lower". It would thus appear as if the oldest materials em- 
ployed by the author of the Theogony belonged to a worship 
characteristically Cthonian, and that for the same reason Helios 
himself became father of a race of infernal beings, his proper 
dwelling continuing to be in those ''sacred depths of dark 
night" where lived his mother, wife, and children ^^; the world 
of shadows, to which, on a memorable occasion'*, he threatens 
to retire. There arises afterwards, howeyer, another generating 
element, which, if secondary in succession or position*^, even- 
tually becomes of first-rate importance. All the ornaments 
and institutions of civilization, the Muses and Hores, Arts and 
Graces, begin with the reign of Zeus. The Muses are his 
daughters ; his praises are the theme which they especially love 
to sing upon Ol3^pus'^. He is appointed to his office by the 
adyice and authority of Geea", and may be said to have been 
virtually her son'*, though his Titanic nature ^^ is but feebly 
perceptible among the multitude of his loftier moral attributes. 
For he is a universal and eternal being as well as a specific 
or generated one; he brings into light {''eg faog avrtg'*) 
the world which lay hid within the body of Cronus ^\ and 
it is observable that his inviolable decrees anticipated his 
birth*'. The youngest birth of Time*' is thus resolved into 
a superior and elder Zeus, the Homeric father of all gods**; 
his being sums up that of his brothers**, and it would 

*> Hence too the Titani are called " Cthonii" (Hes. Theog. 697), though this, 
in Heeiod, wai not their lole character. 

^ Steaichori Frag. 8. Himnermiu in Strabo, i. 47. H. Hymn to Hennea, 68. 

» Odyss. ru. 883. " t. 47. 

»* V. 11. 86. 47. « 626. 884. 

^ T. 479. Oomp. on the identity of Bhsa and Ghes, Scfawenk'a Andentungen, 
p. 92. sq. 

*^ As when in the Iliad the other gods threatened to bind him, in the story of his 
being put to flight or concealed, and the reports as to the possible termination of his 

♦' V. 496. 626. " V. 466. 

" 478. Comp. 187. ** Iliad i. 634 ; xiiL 356. 

** y. 466. And, according to the reasoning of Apollo in the "Furies" of 
^schylus, his sisters also (Bum. 694. Bothe) ; and in troth Athena is another Here 
or Demeter, as Demeter is only a form of Gsea. 


seetti as if Uranus, the anoient " parent," the real father of the 
Muses ^^ had yanished only to reappear more potently and im- 
pressively under the name of him to whom he relinquishes his 



The Giants and Titans helong to the same order of physi- 
cal beings, but they represent them differently^; they are the 
powers of nature, separated and individualized, which in Zeus 
or Uranus are united. They return to that earth out of which 
they were produced, yet often break loose from their prison, 
and threaten to make good their claim to the supernal domi- 
nion of their father. The Homeric giants underwent the same 
humanizing transformation as did the Homeric gods; they 
were no longer recognisable as genii, but a race of men'; 
snake-formed, as being autochthonous, the mighty men of the 
olden time'; the barbarian predecessors of the Hellenes, re- 
garded by a more civilized age with mingled fear and wonder, 
and who, though in a sense intimately connected with the im- 
mortal gods^ owed no obUgation or allegiance to the modem 
rulers of Olympus*. Yet they were more than ordinary mor- 
tals ; they were ^* Bsot^ eyaxiyxioi^" ^ intermediate between the 
human and divine natures ^ like the Persian Gins, or thelotuns 
(elemental genii) of the North, and they at last became iden- 
tified with their brother Titans, who battled against the Gods 

*• T. 617. Comp. 207. 

*' T. 689. Comp. Workf, riii. 87. 243. 472. Th6 conflict of Zaui with the 
Titans i« laid to be as the conflict of " Heayen with Berth." v. 702. 

' Plat. Isis and Osins, ch. 25. Stnbo, z. 474. 

' Nitssch to Odyss. vii. 56 and 201. Eurip. Phsnisss, 127. Paus. yiii. 29. 
Hee. Th. 50. 

3 Tzetses to Hes. Works, 142. Numb. ziii. 83. Genes, vi. 4. 

* Odyss. ix. 107. * Odyss. ix. 275. Hymn Apollo, 279. 

* Hes. Theog. 142. ' Comp. Genes, vl 4. LXX. 


in the fields of Fhlegra or Thessaly'. The Titans, said to 
have been among the first subjects of Pierian song*, are more 
easily seen to denote physical beings or deities ; though, for 
that very reason, they are but little noticed in the Homerio 
epic, and are there treated as exclusively Hypotartarean, or 
Gthonian. On the other hand, cosmogonical theory appears to 
have held the word Titanic as applicable to any physical or 
moral power conceived to have been efficacious in producing 
the actual order of the world, ^ther, therefore, was con- 
sidered to be a Titan", and so were the sun and stars". The 
Titanic list of Hesiod comprises many members entirely 
irreconcilable with the Homeric Titans, such as Hyperion, 
" walker on high," a name of the sun in Homer; Oceanus, 
the encompassing waters"; Phoebe, the moon, a common pre- 
dicate of the sister of Phoebus; then there are the "bright" 
and the "burning,"" the " king^*, the ancient Delphian 
Themis, or Gaea", and the poetical Mnemosyne, mother of 
the Muses. " This list, formed of six male and six female 
Titans," says Midler", " was probably the invention of some 
Pierian son of the Muse, who wished to represent the general 

* " Twt Ttymfraf T<r«9«f M»«/tc^«y wf *Vm^au/». E$fm»t ^m^tv" Procop. Gaieiia. 
in Lennep's Theog. y. 185. Gomp. t. 207. Heyne, ApoUod. ch. 2. Theoph. ad 
Autol. iL 6. 

* Hes. Theog. 45. >* Eanten's Bmpedocles, ▼. 185. 
" Virg. J5ncid. iv. 119 ; tl 725. » Iliad, xxi. 195. He«. Th. 887. 

'' Ceus, perhapa that son of ApoUo who gave hit name to the isle of Oeos. 
Etym. M. p. 460. Creus. Symh. i. 82°. StepL Byx. ad. t. Eurip. Helena, 389. 
Iiennep*8 Heaiod, Th. 274. Schdman de Titanibiu. 

^* Crion or Criiu, probably identical vith the mythical " kings " of Corinth and 
Thebee (Steph. Byz. Ephyia), or the Baal or Moloch of antiquity (Gomp. Find. 
Nem. iiL 17. Pott, Etym. ForBchung, ii. 272). Gronns, sayv Flaas (Urgeschichte, 
L 118), in oppeaition to Buttmann {" Mythologm/' ii. 81 note. Gomp. Pherecyd. 
Stun. p. 42°), it certainly not '' Ghronut," Time ; but the two words were soon 
conlbnnded, and, if the Greek Gronns be the Asiatic Moloch (Moyers, Phoenixier, 
262, 263. Bdttiger, Ideen. i. 219. 225. sq.), time was certainly an element in the 
conception of his character as ** Ancient of Days/' aod in the form of an old man 
under which he was represented (Buttman, ib. 88°). 

'* iBsehyl. From. 207. Eumenid. 2. Bothe. 

»• Mythol. 307. (87j5). 


economy of nature as emanating from the cooperation of hea- 
ven and earth, in the sacred number of twelve persons." ^^ 

The real meaning of the word Titan had been already lost 
in the time of Hesiod, and therefore can now only be a topic 
of fruitless dispute, some believing its signification to be '' do- 
minion,"'* others "divinity,"** or heaven'*, while others 
make it a designation of subterrene powers, from Titaia, an 
old word for earth". This last etymology, though well suited 
to the Homeric Titans, as Othonian gods'*, would ill agree with 
the character of several members of the Hesiodic list, who are 
all children of heaven as well as earth; and the name seems 
to have been received by theorists as representing gene- 
rally the elemental emanations of the divinity of Nature**, 
whom, as if in dissatisfaction, he appeared to absorb back 
again into himself*^ thus putting forth a half-formed world, 
fluctuating between the real and the changeful, (Rhea,) until 

*' As in the twelve montlis, the Herculean laboun, &c Comp. Wyttenhach to 
Pkto'i Phsedo, pp. 85. 804. 

^ Heiych. yoc. Tirmt Pott, Etym. Fortch. ii. 272. "Titanet" in Theeaalian 
if nid by Bttttiger to be the equivalent of " Anakes " in Phcenidan. Comp. Ideen, 
L zxxix. — 217, and toI. ii p. 47. 

'* Comp. " Tina," a name of GK>d, or of Jupiter, in Btruscan, whence Neptina, 
Fortuna, &c., and perhaps " Denaa/' snppoaed to be the Trojan word for God (Dion. 
HaL i. 68). Comp. Tithonus, Tennes, Tennenus, &c. Pant, ix, 26. Kanne, 
'' Altette Urkunde," p. 161. Gerhard, " Gottheiten der Etrusker," p. 27. n. 89. 
Pott, Etym. F. 98. Mailer, Etmak. ii. 48. Grimm's Myth. i. 175. 

** Teine, Irish, and a similar word in Chinese. Taan, Welsh for fire. Comp. 
Schol. Iliad ii. 785. 

** Died. 8. iu. 57; t. 66. Mliller, Mythol. 874. Vdkker's Japetus, 285. 

*■ Called "eiM iM^^M," and " vtrtrmr*^," ^* x^*»*»»r in Hes. Theog. 697, 
(Comp. 767. Snidas. ad v.,) t. e. daemons of the waters and of the earth. Iliad, 
xiT. 272. 

" i. e. Gsa, Cionus, Thyestes, Zeus, &c. Com. Theog. 157. 459. 479. 890. 

** Theog. 157. " He hid them as they were bom, nor suffered them to come 
fMTth into the light" MUUer (Kleine Schriften, ii. p. 18), approves " eine Ansicht 
nach der die Herrschaft der Titanen eine Zeit bexeichnet, in welche strenge Nature 
nothwendigkeit in friedlieher Vereinigung und ruhigem Gleichgewicht aller einielnen 
Mttchte waltete, aber alle Freiheit und Willktkhr, aUe indiTiduelle Fenonliohkaii 
handslader Wesen entfemt war." 


the latter became bound to the principle of '' accomplishment" 
and stability, (supposed by Hennaon to be indicated by Cro- 
nos, i,q. " Perficus/') from whose advent the forms of Being 
and of Thought seemed to have obtained tlieir average per- 
manence. It has be^i remarked above '^ that the history of 
the gods is the history, real or imaginary, of the world, and 
that Hesiod's theogony might equally well be called cosmo- 
gony. The Titanic cosmogony of the Greeks may represent, 
by a sort of personification, the successive emanations of 
oriental metaphysics, in which the forms of life at first lay, as 
it were, asleep, within the bosom of the Sternal, until the ap* 
parition of Bhagavan, with a thousand heads, gave him power 
severally to incorporate and to develope them ^^. It seems to 
denote a time in the world s history, or rather in that of mind^ 
when the world was only beginning to be separated firom Deity, 
and whai, as in the Veda gods, the aggregate forces of cos- 
mical necessity were but hesitatingly distributed into distinct 
departments. Thus may have been formed, not deliberately 
but unconsciously, these first Greek gods, who, firom powers or 
conceptions, were, by poetry and poetical feeling, gradually 
transformed into persons, and who, firom being the aggregate 
of the universe itself, became afterwards the personified ances- 
tors of its population and phenomena". They were, no doubt, 
at first viewed as benevol^it, or " givers of good," similar, in 
this respect, to the giants, though, like the latter, susceptible 

*■ p. 68. 

^ The Sohar attempts to Qlustnite the myitery of antetypal creation bj zefenring 
to (sknei. xzrri. 81, stating it thus ; AntequiUn Senior Senionun, oecnltus ooeul- 
tonim (the hidden God), efSanaant figuias regis (that is, of the Macrocosmic Adam 
Kadmon, through whom the world acquired stability), principium et finis non fuit. 
Sculpsit eigo, et proportiones institoit et expandit ante se velum quoddam, et in eo 
■cnlpsit et oertiL proportione distribuit r^ges et lonnas eonim, aed no* subttUerunL 
Id ipsnm est quod scriptum extat, Qenes. xzzTi. 81, ** Isti sunt reges qui regnamnC 
in terriL Sdom, antequim regnaiet rex super filios Israel." Omnia isti^ quss sculpta 
sunt, nee substiterunt, nominibns suis yocata erant, nee tamen substitenuit. Qnare 
deseruit eos, et occultavit se pcae illis, he. Gfrdrer. Urchrist, ii. 4. 

*' Hymn, Apollo, Pyth. 168. 


of a moral transformation'*, helpful deities, generaUy speaking, 
who heard and granted men's prayers '^ They had, no doubt, 
an historical element, though it would be difficult to define its 
nature, or to reduce it, even hypothetically, to a simple or single 
cause. None of these beings, nor, indeed, any legendary per* 
sonage, can be said, strictly speaking, to hare been the mere 
creation of a poet The poet only adopted, ccmnected, ampli- 
fied, and to the senses explained, what already had a real 
existence in common acceptation. Hesiod, and bis Pierian 
predecessors, inserted into their theogonic list ideas already 
fiimiliar, and gave them, as theoretical antecedents, a place akin 
to that which they already occupied in popular feeling. The 
inference, that the Titans were neyer worshipped, must be sub- 
ject to this limitation. The title of " Uportpoi $eot" '' prior 
gods,'' can hardly have belonged to them by the mere arfai* 
trary assignment of the poet"*; and when the gods of the 
Ihad ratify their oaths'^ by adjuring these ^'heayenly powers," 
or '' sons of heaven," they must be presumed, according to a 
well-known principle*', to have thereby acknowledged their 
greater relative eminence and antiquity. 

There lived a Titan, a reputed broths of the Sun, a sort of 
^sculapius, in the neighbourhood of Sicyon'^; another. Any- 
tus, had been foster-feither of Hera in Arcadia'^; the " good 
Titan" of Marathon, and the Titan Promethans'*, were wor- 
shipped in the Titanian land** of Attica. These testimonies, 
and the title of hot, seem to discountenance the general denial 
of any trace of Titan worship". There were altars of Pro- 

^ The earthbom " gumt " of Eubasa, Tityui, it aaid to haye been of their 
kindrad. Schol. Odyss. Tiii. 321. SchoL ApoUon. fih. i. 1126. 

* Irtri, Fng. 1 and 2. 

» Gomp. HtUler, Mythol. 874 (876). JEichyl. Btunen. 667. 
*■ niad, T. 898 ; zi^. 278. 278. Comp. Genet. zziL 16. 

* AristoL Metapb. L 8. 6 — ** vtfMmretm y«tf t$ (r^ir/SwM^w, §^»t ^* <v r$fAtm- 

Tmr09 WTtf,*' 

•» Pana. ii 11. 6. ^ Fau& yiii. 87. 

» Enstat ad Iliad, zir. 296. p. 987. ^ Snidas ad toc Iitri, Fng. 2. 

'^ MttUer, Mythol. p. 378. 


metheus in Attica andArgolis; Themis, and hor Titanic sac- 
cessor, Phoebe, had been worshipped at Delphi*'; the citadel of 
Cronus, a notion either founded, or at least curiously paral- 
leled, in the mystical physiology of the East**, was still, in an 
external sense, unassailed in Hesperia and Libya, and through- 
out all the colonies of Phoenicians as yet beyond the reach of 
Hellenic enterprise ^\ The Eleans sacrificed to Cronus on a 
mountain at the vernal equinox. ^^ observing the periodical 
atonement supposed to have been sanctioned by the ritual of 
Nature in the golden age, when the Curetes officiated as his 
ministers^'. His name, like that of his brother Titans, con- 
tinued to be attached to mountains and rivers where his wor- 
ship had been forgotten ; for the attributes and offices of the 
Titans were replaced and absorbed by a different class of deities^ 
and the very reason for classing an anomalous power among 
the exiled race, was because his ritual had become generally 
obsolete^'. Yet even Earth had her temples at Athens, JEgm, 
and Sparta ^^, and a mysterious solemnity was still attached to 
the name of Uranus^'. It was, indeed, impossible that the 
worship of Titans, of beings supposed to have either repre- 
sented the whole of Nature, or its forces or parts, could have 
generally coexisted with that of particular personifications. 
Yet the two systems, though cotemporaneously incompatible, 
may have prevailed in a certain sense successively. The semi- 
personification of a Titan may have formed a real transition to 
the personal agents of epic poetry, firom the mystical or Orphic 

* Mtchjl. Bam. 6. 

* " K^#>«if Tv^rtt '* — lee particalarly the 14tb chapter of the book of Enoch. L. 
Lydus. iv. 88. Movers, Phoenisier, 258, 259. 812. Danmer, Feuer u. Moloch 
Dienst. p. 20. Of this all Titan architecture was an imitation, for Cronus, like the 
Phenidan Sidyk, or Egyptian Pthah, was the Bemiurgus or consummate artificer 
of the heavens. Eurip. Frag. Sysiphus, L 84. Plutarch, de Plac L 6. 

*• Cic. N. D. iii. 17. Creua. p. 562. « Pans. vi. 20. 1. 

« Paus. V. 7. 4 ; viii 2. 1. 

43 it t^y ufimvftrt^au ytyttatvn ml rt/nat, n »«) wavrarmrif t»XtXMirm^i, furm- 
rrattrt9 us Xrt^tt ju^fMw,** Plutarch, de defect. Orac. 21. 
^ Paus. i 22 ; iii. 11. Soph. Antig. 838. 
" Lennep's Hesiod, Th. 102. 


view of higher antiquity, and the position occupied by the 
Titans in Hesiod may be a correct representation of their me- 
taphysical and historical character, as connecting the present, 
or heroic age, with the elemental and '' nameless " worship of 
the past Their personality belongs rather to the more modem 
religion of Greece, their existence to its earliest feelings and 
thoughts. They had not, indeed, as a class, been objects of 
general worship prior to the Olympian powers ; many of them, 
however, had been worshipped sevorally and locally, and, in the 
aggregate, they were a miscellaneous tribe suited to include a 
variety of anomalous beings, either the superseded local deities 
of ancient Greek or Phcsnician nature worship, moral and me- 
taphysical conceptions, or occasionally certain foreign deities 
seeming to be analogous to them in nature^, and separated by 
a scarcely definable interval from heroes or demons^'. All 
these were '" Titans," as being divine persons, yet differing both 
in nature and position from the poetical gods, and representing 
the efforts of a series of poets, both before and after Hesiod, 
to give a plausible commencement to the modem god world, and 
Xo include in a single theory all the ramifications of popular 
belief. The gods of a suppressed tribe or earlier date were 
remembered either as heroes or Titans, and the distinction is 
often rather accidental than real. There were two possible 
reasons for banishing Cronus to the west ; one, because, by 
the dynasty of Zeus, in other words, by Hellenic power, the 
worship of the PhoBnician Moloch, the nearest modem repre- 
sentation of Cronus, was really confined to the Western Medi- 
terranean; and secondly and chiefly, because in theological 
physics a banished god followed the course of the declining 
sun to that extreme bourne, '' Uupara yatm" where the 
westem region was ideally confounded with the under world. 
When those traditionary Titans had lost their supernal domi- 
nion, and, firom whatever cause, either their original Cthonian 

<* Stiph. Bys. voc. A^ana. 

** Btm ih& 6g teM, penonified m "Sycca*/* is called a " Titan'* ton of Baith. 
AtheneDi, iii 78^. Steph. Bys. Syce 

VOL. I. O 


character, the astronomical vicissitudes of their career as Na- 
ture Gods, or the external circumstances which in part ohli- 
terated their worship, had been obliged to find an asylum in 
the world of shades*', they gradually assumed more or less of 
a sinister aspect as adversaries of the more explicit and popu- 
lar gods who had virtually banished them. Transcendent power 
or skill, whether exhibited in human ingenuity, or on the 
grander scale of nature, seems in an early stage of mythical 
development to be generally invested with an ambiguity of 
aspect which may be easily misinterpreted; so that the Tel- 
chines were sometimes benevolent mechanics, sometimes mis- 
chievous magicians*'; killing Apis, and revolting against Bac- 
chus they united the demoniacal with the divine *\ Circum- 
stances in the case of the Titans gave greater prominence to 
the evil aspect; and, in order to preserve consistency, it now 
became usual, in speaking of a Titan whose traditional cha- 
racter was unquestionably good, to say he was an exception to 
the general rebellion of those beings^', whose mythical malig- 
nity was in exact analogy with that of the giants, the one having 
warred on Cronus, as the otlier, in later times, on Zeus**, 
like many of our own elves and evil spirits, which are only 
the discarded gods of our Pagan ancestors, these originally 
cosmical agents were thus, with some seeming exceptions*', 
degraded into powers exclusively fiendish or " Hypotartarean"; 
and in the spirit by which the impostures of the Buddhists were 
translated by Marco Polo into diabolical miracles, and the gods 
of the heathen became the demons of the Jews*^ the name of 
Titan was applied, first, it is said**, by Onomacritus, to those 
emissaries of Typhon who tore in pieces the body of Osiris or 
Dionysus Orpheus, when Pallas rescued the bleeding heart, 

^ niad, xiv. 279. Machjl Piom. 218. Bothe. Theog. 697. 
«• Crenz. S. iii. 15. Strabo, ziT. 654. » Gmgniaut, B. ii. 277. 260. 

" Senr. ad Mn, iv. 119. " s^ry. jb. vL 580. 

*' Such as the Orphic Hecate. Hes. Th. 424. 

** ** n«vrtf «f itt Tan than hufiMm ;" says the Psalm xcri. 5. The name Baal- 
Eebub is, perhaps, an instance of the same tendency. Hovers, Fhoenisier, 260. 
» MlUler, Mythol. 894, trans. 819. Diod. S. iy. 6. Pans. YiiL 87. 8. 


and ApoUo buried the collected fragments on Parnassus. It 
should however be observed that the innovation applies to the 
use of the name only, not to the idea> which, as in the muti- 
lation of Uranus, was already familiar among the symbols of 
Nature-worship ; that Cronus ruled peacefully in the far West 
over the heroes who had revered him on earth**, and that his 
compeers, themselves originally the physical dispersion they 
w^re afterwards made to cause, had become permanent tenants 
of tt^ shades through the establishment of the reign of Zeus. 

§ 14. 


The Centimanes, Cyclops, and Titans are, theologically 
speaking, only varied forms of each other as children of the 
elements, hidden, bound, or absorbed by their mysterious 
parent, and capriciously restored to the upper world to suit 
the change of conception or purpose of the poet. The parent, 
who virtually unites the characters of Uranus, Cronus, and 
Zeus under the general name *' vamf" ' allies himself with the 
one in order to go through the drama of a war in order to establish 
his kingdom by conquering the other. In the pragmatical 
sense of the genealogist, Zeus is youngest of divine persons^; 
yet really he is older than his brothers', older than Cronus, and 
the world ^. He is represented as an eternal being who ruled 
even before his birth; for the oracles of heaven and earth 
given to Cronus respecting his children, are the " behests of 
Zeus."* He was once threatened with the imprisonment of his 
predecessors*; but the same physical confederates who assisted 

" On a titppoiition hereafter to be alluded to, that the Oronian, golden, and heroic 
Bgrt are ^Tirtaany the Bame, the latter, with its atories of the fiubiliar intercourse of 
gods and men, being the Epic version of the theological idea. Gottling's Hesiod, Th. 
S51. Works, 111, 169. Iliad, sir. 279. Buttmao, Mythol. il 88. 68. 

• Theog. T. 502. 617. • Theog. 187. 467. 

• Iliad, ziil 855 ; zt. 204. * Orph. Fiag. ▼!. 

• Theog. 465. * Iliad, i. 899. 

O 2 


him against the Titans enabled him to defeat the malice of his 
new adversaries, and to retain his poetical supremacy. He was 
made by the Orphici to perform the same mysterious process of 
self-development ascribed by older bards to Cronus, the '" all- 
swallowing and all restoring,"^ and to contain heaven, earth, 
and sea within himself. It was necessary that the poet should 
be able, in a plausible way, to show by what means the victo- 
rious god was enabled to supersede his predecessors, the " com- 
panions" or diversified manifestations of Cronus'. If Cronus 
reigned of old, the analogy of human affairs of course impUed 
a dethronement ; and, as gods could not die, a banishment or 
imprisonment. In carrying out too the dramatic scheme, 
it was inevitable that the idea respecting the nature of 
Titans should undergo a change assimilating them more closely 
to the Homeric ; hence, in the later part of the poem, they are 
called " Cthonii ;" ' and it is impossible to conceive that such 
beings as Hyperion and Oceanus, Themis and Mnemosyne, 
constituting essential parts of the physical and moral world, 
and so nearly allied to the Olympian Gods, should have delibe- 
rately been allowed to remain among the enemies who attacked 
them. The great instruments of cosmogonical development 
were strife and love. These, represented by the familiar sym- 
bols of Mars and Venus, had been the two immemorial factors 
of creation, the twin daughters of Night. The birth of Eros" 
was the condition precedent to the commencement of genera- 
tion, and the mutilation of Uranus, in which the symbols of 
hostility and sterility were united, was followed by the birth of 
the Furies, and was the earliest precedent of feud personified in 
*' Eris" with her numerous and disastrous offspring ". The poet 
of the great cosmological strife of Troy, that memorable ex- 
ample of the close connection between human loves and human 
misfortunes", if he does not enter into the details of preceding 

' Oiph. Hjrmo, 12. Comp. Theog. 890. 

• " K^ut m/^tt tnrttr Theog. 851. • T. 697. 

»• y. 120. »» Theog. 225. 

" " TlavrtXfiwt t^atrmf mrmiri rwufMus ^(•rm.*' JEschyl. Choeph. 657, Bothe. 


quarrels, betrays by several allusions an acquaintance with their 
existence. He speaks of the Titans as placed by Zeus in a 
brazen dungeon, as deep below earth as earth is below heayen ; 
and the threat denounced to Mars'' corroborates the seeming 
intimation of some ancient feud among the gods as the cause 
of the imprisonment. War, the most energetic scene of human 
action, was the favourite subject of the epic. Several wars 
are described by the theogonist as having been waged by Zeus 
before the final establishment of his kingdom ; and the attempt 
to wind up antique cosmogonical materials into an epic cata- 
strophe is everywhere conspicuous, even in the etymological sig- 
nificancy given by Hesiod to the name Titan '^ the making the 
Titan war a retaliation for the cruelty of Cronus ^^, and still 
more in later compilers, who, less regardAil of theological pro- 
fundity than of ffisthetical propriety, endeavoured to supply 
from arbitrary invention what they thought defective in the 
story as a consecutive series of events and persons. Hence, in 
ApoUodorus, Uranus is no longer, as in Heaiod, a part of 
nature, but the original personified occupant of the seat after- 
wards assumed by Zeus; ihe Centimanes and Cyclops alone 
are concealed or bound by him, else it would have seemed im- 
possible for their Titan brothers to have taken part in his muti* 
lation and dethronement. The completion of this act, accom- 
panied by the descent of fertilizing dew from heaven, and the 
ensuing birth of Aphrodite with her girdle, emblematic of the 
continuing harmony of which Eros was the germ, is in the 
older Theogony the signal for the commencement of a new 
series of Titanic developments or generations; whicli, so far 
from being impeded by the " hypotartarean" imprisonment of 
the parents, are but a continuation of the births of prolific 
Night". Out of the Titans issues universal being; first, the 
family bom of Fontus, Oceanus, and Tethys ; next, the hea- 
venly bodies, the progeny of Theia and Hyperion, of Krios, 
Koios, and Phcdbe, personifications of sun, moon, and stars ; 
gods descend from Cronus and Rhea, men from the loins of 

" Iliad, T. 897. '* From Titmm. 

« 472. 490. •• V. 211. 


Japetus; and from Themis and Mnemosyne are bom in due 
time^ though not until after the establishment of the reign of 
Zeus, the Horee and Muses, t . e., the institutions and adorn- 
ments of social and spiritual life. As Aphrodite the type of 
woman, or theogonic antecedent of Pandora, the celestial em- 
blem of love, seemed often to change into an Eris or Erinnys", 
so war changes into her sister'* peace, and becomes the pre- 
lude to fertility and harmony. Chaos reigns only while war 
continues. The generations of Zeus, amounting to the deyelop- 
ment of a new world both physical and moral, proceed only 
when after a long series of conflicts the peaceful order of his reign 
has begun '*; and when Here, borrowing the cestus of harmony, 
visits the mystic grottoes of Lemnos in order to make a con- 
federacy with the children of Night for renewing the long- 
interrupted intercourse of the ancient parents of Nature in the 
arms of her consort on Gargarus'*. 

§ 15. 


Man being, according to the prevailing idea, autochthonous, 
bom out of the elements, it followed that the parentage of men 
as well as gods should be ascribed to the Titan sons of heaven 
and earth ', and that Japetus, the Greek patriarch after the 
common genealogy ^ should rank with Cronus and Bhea. The 
fathers of the world were of course fathers of mankind, and in 
mythical language the first of men is often identical with the 
first of Gods ; thus Agamemnon was understood to be a per- 
sonification, either Carian or Amyclaean, of Zeus*, and Hermes- 
Cadmus^ to be the builder not only of Thebes but of the Universe. 
In the same way Japetus, the husband of Asia, in other words 

*' Klanien, MntoA, 1, 41. » Theog. 224, 22& 

»• THeog. 881. * Iliad, xiv. 206. 861. 

> 'BfHTiftn 9MTi^ vr^^ywM, Oiph. H. xzxri. 1. Comp. Hymn Pyih. Apollo. 

' Hes. Fmg. Gottl. 20, 31. Find. 01. ix. 80. 

* Clem. Alex. Frotr. xi. p. 82. Foit Uichold, Yorhalle, i. p. 156. Muller, 
Orchom. 313. 


a name supposed to be Asiatic ^ and which became proverbial 
in Greece as expressing the highest antiquity ^, has been con- 
jectured to be the god, the ''father Jah/' of the Caucasian 
tribes', the same supreme pot^r who occasionally assumes the 
allied names of Jasion, Jasus, Jason ^, and who was naturally 
confounded with his presumed equivalent, Zeus'. Japetus has 
also been compared to the Indian Brahma, at once man and 
God, under his title Prajapiti, ''Lord of Creatures," a title 
belonging either to God or to the first and most intelligent of 
the beings made by him, resembling the Creator himself in 
form, and like him exercising extensive dominion*. A nearer 
paraUel may perhaps be found in the Arcadian "iSpytus"*^ 
a surname of the deity at Tegea", and ancestor of the Mes- 
senian kings*'. As husband of Themis, (the earth, or its dark 
recesses,) ^' Japetus is God of heaven, or Uranus' ^ and there is 
no good reason for doubtiDg him to be the same who appears 
as patriarch of the North in Hebrew tradition*^; for the He* 
brews habitually appropriated the conceptions of the nations 

* Bitter, Vorhalle, p. 457. Herod, iv. 45. ' Ariitoph. Clondi, 085. 

' Japetot for Japitor, t. e, DeuS'pater, or Diespiter. Buttmaa^B Mythol. i. 224. 
Ewald, Gc«chickte, Iirael, L 830. Comp. WeUke, Prometheus, p. 299. 
' Z/«f, Dorici for &u$. Comp. Diod. S. t. 48. 

* Jaftus, e. g, is Zens, as iather of Arapbion. Pberecyd. Frag. zxvL p. 219. 
Stun. Sep'*. Horn. Odyss. xi. 282. Or Jason, as husband of MedearHere. Comp. 
Milller, Orchom. 260. 276. Justin, xlii. 8 ; or Medea-Artemis, Diod. iv. 51, 52. 

* Genes. L 26. Psalm riil 6. 2 Esdras vi. 4. 

»• "Father of earthl" " Paus. vui. 47. 8. 

" Called " JEpytido." Pans. iv. 3. 6. 

» <' Tamas," sancrt. The " Dark ;'* the oracle-giving goddess from below. 
Orph. H. 78. Diod. S. v. 67 — hence represented with her eyes bound, or sleeping* 
Winckebnan, Denkmale, I 2. 5. p. 405, 12mo. ed. — wife of Athamas, or '' Tbam- 
mas," as Themisto. Hiiller, Orchom. 164. sq. Comp. Creuz. Horn. Briefe, 84. 

^ Schol. Arat Phosn. 254. A name perhaps formed like Janus, Juno, Diana, &c. 
Pott Btym. Forsch. it 208 ; and if so, the short mention of. the Titans in Homer, 
" Japetus and Cronus,*' would correctly indicate the received order of beings who 
preceded Zeus. 

^ He precedes, instead of following, Deucalion, the Greek Noah ; therefore, says 
Weiske (Prometheus, p. 801), Japetus is no more .Japbet than Hadai is Medea, 
Joshua Jason, or Moses Musaeus. Comp. Welsford on the English language, p. 187. 


with whom they cnme succeflsiyely in oontact"> and many parts 
of the Pentateuch are now well understood to be of much later 
date than is usually supposed ". '' Genealogy," says Yolcker'*, 
'' is the only clue through the labyrinth of mythological in- 
quiry ; and if erery mythus once had a meanings bo» too, had 
every genealogy, howeyer in itself contradictory or impro- 
bable. The genealogy of Prometheus supposes him either to 
be first parent^ or at least, the earliest birth of nature. He is 
son of Japetus and Olymene, or of Eurymedon and Here, 
nephew of the all-father Oceanus'*, and, if Japetus be Uranus^ 
is himself a TTranid like his reputed brother Atlas'^. His 
mother s name changes from Glymene to Themis, or earth, 
two expressions, says .Sschylus, for the same idea'' ; or again 
to Asia, or Here, previous to her marriage with Zeus ^ ; his 
wife Pandora, another name of earth '", or of Nature s mother, 
is said to have been ancestress of the Greeks by Zeus **, whose 
intimate connection with Prometheus is hinted in their mys- 
terious dependence on each other in ^schylus'^ ; she is daugh- 
ter and also mother of Deucalion, and being wife both of Pro- 
metheus and of Zeus, it would seem as if all three personages 
were considered as substantially identical'*. Again, Pro- 

*' See instances of approximation of the O. T. accounts to Greek traditions in 
Yolcker, Japetus, 847^ 

'* For example, the name Jaran coidd not have reached the Hebrews until the 
Ionian colonies had attained celebrity. K. 0. MnUer, Oichom. p. 96. 

>* JapetDS, 129. 

!• ApoUod. i. 1. 8. Horn. II. {. 201. 246. 802. 

» Diod. S, iii. 60. Hyg. t Pra£ 

** Prom. Bothe, 208. Demeter had the iMune of Themis in Arcadia. Fans. viiL 
25. 4, and at Delphi, Themis was successor of Gsea. ^schyl. Bum. 2. Wekker, 
Tril. 41. Id the hymn to the Delian Apollo (124), Themis undertakes the office of 
nurse to the son of Latona. 

« Schol Iliad, xiv. 295. 

•^ SchoL Avistoph. Aves, 971. Homer, Bpigr. 7. Hesych. ad. v. 

** Hesiod (Lydns de Hens. 4) treats Pandora as Rhsa, making her husband 
parallel with Cronus or Uranus. 

*■ JBichyl. From. Bothe. 748. Comp. 497. 

>• Schol. ApoUon. iii. 1086. Hes. Frag. GdttL 80, 81. Hence Hellen is son 
nf Zeui. Eurip. Melanippe, Frag. 2. 


methens is father of Isis-Io'^^ and even of Zens himself** ; so 
that his character as a personification of the Supreme Being is 
fully borne out in genealogies^ which, if to be relied on for 
nothing else, are at least authentic records of the opinions 
of their authors. The starting point of human genealogies 
was commonly occupied by a god. The paternal relation of 
Prometheus to Deucalion is recorded for the first time in the 
Hesiodio " Hoiai/"* the oldest Greek Heroogony known to us, 
and was probably mentioned in the songs on which was founded 
the Deucalioneia of Hellanicus ; but nothing is more gratui- 
tous than to limit the age of a story to that of the writer who 
happens to be the earliest reporter of it It could not have 
been a merely arbitrary choice which placed Prometheus at 
the head of Hellenic genealogy inPthiotis, Thebes, and Athens; 
and the only reason why the legend of the Japhetid® can be 
supposed to occupy its present place in the Theogony, a poem 
confined to the recital of gods and demigods'®, is the poetical 
necessity that the divine powers descended from Uranus should 
be finally disposed of before the empire of Zeus could be per- 
manently established, ^schylus, therefore, committed no 
innovation when he designated Prometheus as ''a god;" and 
Lactantius mistakes the conception of his character both as a 
god and as a man, when he urges an objection equally appli- 
cable to Nimrod and other Scripture personages, that the 
creation and the penal cataclysm were improbably compressed 
within the limits of two lives**. It is more easy, however, to 
assert the general divinity of Prometheus than to particularize 
it. Had he been mentioned by name in the Homeric Epic, he 
would probably have been placed among the '^ Hypotartarean" 
powers in association with Japetus and Cronus. He was ac- 
cordingly described in poetry as a Titan**, the nearest approach 
which the heroic muse could with propriety make towards the 

^ Om. Alex. Strom, p. 822*. Flntaich, lais and Oiiru, 8. Iitri. Fnig. 

* Lydnt de Meni. Bother, p. 228. ** Schol Apollon. iii. 1086. 

* Gdiding, Pnet xzt. and zzxvL >> De Orig. Error, il 10. p. 107. 
** Sophoclet, JEdip. Colon. ()6. Burip. Phoeniw. 1129. Ion. 455. 


specification of a natare-god. ''Titan" became afterwards a 
title proper to the sun**, that luminary being first and most 
conspicuous among the symbols of nature worship. Apollo 
and Hercules are both in this sense '' Titans ;'^ and there is no 
reason to think that the Oi*ph]c hymn infiinges the technical 
precision of the old theology when it addresses the Titan 
Cronus, the ** all-cunuing," the " all- generating," as ** o^b/avb 
Ilfo/uudfi/."" Prometheus, as parent or child of universal 
nature, is more particularly called the ''Fire-Bearer,"" the 
giver of light and heat, and even of life and intellectual attain- 
ments to mankind". In the Veda" there are three great 
gods, the Fire, the Air, and the Sun, inhabiting respectively 
the earth, tlie middle region, and the heavens. Prometheus 
brought down to earth the fire of heaven, and in the earliest 
poetical philosophy of Greece of which its mythology was in 
some respects an anticipation, a similar notion was expressed 
dogmatically in the belief that the " vnyai sri/fo^," or springs 
of subterranean fire, are nourished by meteoric agents and by 
solar heat^'. It is most natural to suppose that the invention 
or " stealing" of fire by the Titan god Prometheus primarily 
indicates the communication of heat and warmth firom heaven 
to earth by the sun, that immemorial object of Greek wor- 
ship*®, that type of divine munificence which for ever bestows 

** Orph. Argon. 614. Hynin, vii, 2. Virg. Mn. iv. 119. 
^ Orph. H. xi. 1, and xxxix. 8. '"* lb. xii. 7. 

* Soph. JEd. Colon. 55. " ntf^«f$t ei*«." 
« ApoUod. i. 7. 

*" Lassen, Ind. Ant i. 768. In the Aitoreja Brahmana the fire of the earth » 
Agni ; celestial fire, Yishnoa. 

* £v 3« TUf x(tX*»is ms yns •?»( t$(9Ttu. Simpl. de C<elo. F. 158. Orph. Frag. 
vilL 17. Lncret. iL 5&1. Stmbo, xiv. 628, speaks of the kindling of the Oata- 
kekaumenc, or Solfiitaxa firom the sky, and the same idea is expressed in the story of 
iKgina in Pansaniaa. Hes. Theog. 505. 

* Plato, Laws, x. 2. Cratyl. p. 32. Winkelman, AUegorie, ch. ii. s. 185. The 
traditional bounty of humanized gods, such as Prometh<;us, Osiris, and Jemsheed, is 
a commentary on the physical munificence of the Sun. It was, probably, through 
the same idea that Lycus and Chciraareus (summer and winter) came to be children 
of Prometheus. (Ttctzcs, Lycuphr. 135). 


its benefits without being itself diminished or impoyerished. 
And as light and heat were supposed to be nourished by mois^ 
ture^ and to produce all things by union with it, his wife is an 
oceanic nymph, and so also is his mother, as the fire god of 
Egypt is son of the oceanic Nile^^ The exercises of running, 
wrestling, dancing, hurling the discus, &c., on solemn occa- 
sions, deriyed their primary and religious import from the 
reroludons of the heavenly bodies of which they were sym- 
bols^*; the earthly forms of the gods were made to resemble as 
nearly as possible those ascribed to them in the sky, and there- 
fore Demeter, Artemis, and Dionysus, as well as Hephaestus 
and Prometheus at Colonos^ were figured as torch-bearers, 
the celebrated Attic torch race held in honour of some of these 
deities being presumably meant to represent the sun's light 
borne unextinguished and uncontaminated from east to west 
The invention of fire, attributed in Egypt to Pthah, was by 
the Argives ascribed to Phoroneus^ ; and it naturally followed 
that Phoroneus and Prometheus should be identified in the 
parentage of lo^. The Titanic divinities of nature were all 
benefactors of mankind^'; the correlated gods Prometheus, 
Hephaestus, and Athene^ were accounted to have supplied them 
with arms and arts; and as Silenus, the father of the firma- 
ment ^^ describes to his audience the origin of the universe ^\ 
or as Uranus, first king of men, is also their earliest in- 
stractor^, so Prometheus is father of arts and civilization, and 
fulfils in a higher sense his mythical office of bringing forth 
Athene out of the head of Zeus*'. This higher meaning 

«* Cic N. B. iiL 22. Diod. 8. i. 12. Buidas t. Helios. SchoL Ambros. ad 
Odyn. K. 2. Ovid, Met i. 756. 

^ Uacliold, Yorhalle, ii. pp. 70, 71. Crisbiui in the BagvaUQeeta, is called 
"di8cobolnj,"p. 11. 

*^ The nr^«^ 0uf of Sophocles and Euripides. Phcenis. 1122. W«ske, From, 
p. 525. PhUostr. Yit. Soph. p. 602, 01. 

** Fausan. u. 19. ^ Clem. Alex. Strom, i. 822. Istri. Fmg. 40. 

* Diod. S. Y. 66. ^' t. q, Astneas, Creuser, S. L 12. 

• iBlian, V. H. iii. 18. Virg. Bd. vi 31. 

^ Diod. S. iii 56. *• Eorip. Ion. 467. ApoUod. i 8. 6. 


however, as well as the many traditions of the astrological 
knowledge of the sun- god, however obvious*', were only seccm- 
dary applications of a legend originally physical Prometheus 
is master of wisdom, in the same sense as Hermes or Atlas *^ 
that is, as the all-pervading spirit of nature*'. But the phy- 
sical conception appears under two aspects, the complicated 
symbolism of the original, and its poetical adaptations or meta* 

Prometheus is not an Homeric deity, his attributes nearly 
coinciding and being absorbed in those of Hermes and 
Hephsstus**, as, for instance, in opening the head of Zeus**, 
arranging the offices of the gods, performing their commands, 
and distributing Uieir gifts to mankind**. Hephestus, as well 
as Prometheus, was patron of the Athenian guild of potters ; 
both were fire gods associated in tlie rites and temples of the 
Ceramicus as in general tradition*'; and the story of Pro- 
metheus, the man-maker, may have been founded in a real 
mythical connection between the son of Glymene and the 

»> Cicero, Tu»:. v. 8. Senr. to Virg. Eel. Ti. 42. 

« ^neid, i. 741. 

^ ll»9rm %Yfm MVf. Gomp. Anax. Fragm. 8. Iliad, ii. 485. 

** Thus Hermes adviaes Deucalion to throw the stones which became men ; Pro- 
metheus to build the ark. Apollod. i. 7. 2. Hermes is protector and bene&ctor, 
" Xvm^ MMff," " i^N»Mf " (Hymn, Herm.), as well as Prometheus, and also '' ^tkm " 
(Pans. vii. 27. 1), a robber, " Xni^m^"—" hynrt,^ AMff**-Uke Heicoles, the de- 
vourer or robber of bulls, Prometheus is *' sacrificer of the bull *'). Comp. the Arcar 
dian personification, "Bouphagos'' (Pans. viii. 27. 11.), a son of Japetus killed 
ibr o£5ering violence to Artemis. Prometheus and Hermes have ezclusiTely the 
epithet " mxmmnru^" whence the Acakesion hill derived its name, and it may be 
asked whether the eponymus "Acacus" is not etymologicaUy one with Caeus, 
who, like Hermes (Horn. H. H.), drew the bulls backward to his cayem ; (Comp. 
Bnttman*s Lezilogus, Tr. pp. 73, 74.) a name probably connected with " Caecos,*' 
and denoting the Cthonian character of the power. Prometheus, supposed to have 
been originally a predicate of the PeLisgian Hermes, is at onoe admitted to all tha 
wide relations of the latter. 

*» Schol. Pind. 01. vii. 66. 

«• Prom. 88. Plato, Protag. 821^. 322^ 

*' Patts. 1. 14. 6. Harpocrat voc. fUkanrm. iEschyl. Prom. 89. Weiake, 
p. 582. 


demiurgic Hermes or Heph®stas^. The most remaikable 
example of this demiurgic character is the antique monumen- 
tal altar of the academy near Athens, in which Prometheus 
appeared associated in a triad with Hephaestus and Athene^', 
Prometheus being represented as the older and sup^or power, 
Hephffistus as secondary. Now, since Athene was said to have 
intermarried with celestial fire, and to have thus become 
mother of Apollo**; it was probably the superior Prometheus 
of Apollodorus, corresponding with the first Vulcan of Cicero, 
son of Uranus, who, as celestial fire, was deemed worthy to be 
partner of the goddess who, according to the common story, 
rejected the advances of Hephaestus. In the Erechtheum, the 
consort of Athene, here answering to the Proserpina of Cicero, 
was Hermes ; and, in Boeotian legend, Prometheus was con- 
nected with Demeter, and called "one of the Cabiri."*' The 
Cabiri were usually reputed to be "sons of Hepheestus'*'; 
they were objects of secret or Cthonian worship, being two, 
three, four, or a larger number, whose correlatives among the 
better known deities were conunonly assumed to be Pluto, 
Demeter, and Cora, Hermes Casmilus** being associated with 
them as a fourth. They were givers of good things, of the 


M Comp. aignment to Ovid, Metam. 1. vol. ii. p. 15. Bonn. Ckus. Briofe, p. 
11^4. Enrip. Frag. Barnes, 14. Vdlcker, Japetus, p. 816. The pxobkm ib not 
only bow Prometheoa came to be nuui-maker, but how he became patron of potters ; 
he might have become man-maker as patron of the Ceramicus ; but it is at least 
equally poiaible that he became patron of the Ceramicui as man-maker, i. c as 
demhugic God. 

* ApoUodorDs, in Schol. £dip. Colon. 55. Fans. L 80. Polemo in Harpocm^ 
Toc lampas. 

** Cic N. D. ill 22, 28. laTy, zzii. 10. She was mother of the Corybantes 
by Helios, of Bridithonios, by Hephastns or Hermes. Again, she was daughter of 
Prometheos-Zeus, and sbter of Hej^MBStiis. Phito, Critias, 109. 

« Pteos. ix. 25. 5. 

*■ Bf««MV4 • Ttrmnf, Photiaiu Pherecyd. Stars, p. 141.' Herod. iiL 87. 
Lobech, 1211. 1221. 

'^ Gadmilos, i 'Effmt Btttntuff, Tsetses, Lycophr. 162. Phss. Urgeschichte, i. 
p. 127. 


fruits of the earth ^» the three principal divine hypostases co- 
operating to prodace fertility and harmony. Demeter was 
at Samothraoe as at Thebes their mother or chief, and Cicero 
may have been as well justified in giving the name of son 
of Cabiras to Dionysus*' as to Hermes*'. The Ithyphallic 
Hennes of Attica is said to have been derived from the same 
source as the Pelasgian mysteries of Samothraoe and Lemnos; 
Lemnos, the volcanic Aithale*^, where the sacred flame stolen 
by Prometheus called not only art but nature into being, 
where Hephsstus, like Prometheus, a son of Here, was on his 
descent from the sky entertained by Thetis, and at the close of 
his celestial career (a/Aa ^ ii>^t^ Mara^uvri) commenced a fresh 
course of labours in the oceanic caverns **. There dwelt the 
Sintians, a wild and problematical race, forging arms under 
the direction of the god of fire ",. and there probably were 
united the attributes of Ares, Hephsestus, and Hermes as 
demiurgic powers, a combination seemingly alluded to in the 
mystery sung by Demodocus^^ for the God of nature is a 
Proteus assuming every elemental form, and every variety of 
character. Much of the imagery of the lost drama of the Pro- 
metheus *'vvffofog" is known to have been taken from 
Lemnos^'. Immediately beneath the volcano Moschylos stood 
the town of Hephsstias and the temple of the fire-god"; 
while the flame issuing from earth, air, and sea, at once re- 
vealed to the eye the many meanings attached to the mother 
of Hephaestus^', and the various names of the wife of Pro- 

** Henca " myXmrn )»^ Kmfiu^." Orph. Argon. 21. SchoL Find. OL ziii 74. 
•Hyralnt in Dion. Hal. I 23. Lobeck, 1209. 

«» De N. D. iii. 23. L. Lydoi, 82. ** Pherecyd. Frag., 81. p. 141, Stun. 

" Tsetses, Lyeophr. 227, 460. Nitsach to Odyas. vin. 288. 

* Iliad, I 598 ; xviii. 899. aq. Oomp. Greaser, Briefe, p. 196. Midcing tbe 
darts of Eroa (Anaer. Od. 45), aa well aa tbe anna of Ackillea. 

* Odyaa. Tiii. 278. Hellanici Frag. 56. p. 92, Stnis. 

*• Odyaa. Tiii. 842. ^' MttUer, KL Sdirift il 43. 

^^ Accius in Yarro, L. L. vi. 82. 

'<* Here, the air or the earth, liTing in a aecret chamber, inaoceaaible to all other 
goda. Iliad, xiv. 168. 


methea8^\ Hephaestus was married to Gabira, a daughter of 
the sea-god Proteus, or to the ocean-bom Aphrodite, and it 
would seem as if in the association of the fire spirit with the 
sea nymph it was intended to intimate the genial alliance and 
cooperation of fire and water in nature, as in the similar story 
of the escape of Dionysus, ** TrupiytvYi^" into the arms of Thetis 
or Eurynome'*. " The brilliancy of fire," says the Genius in 
the Zendavesta^^ "proceeds from the brightness of Grod." 
Tbe stirring the forges of the Cyclops preceded in imagination 
the return of spring^^, when fertiUzing warmth seems to rise 
out of the bosom of moisture, and when the fiery Dionysus is 
yearly bom of the thunderbolt descending on Semele or Geea^'. 
In symbolical observance, the sacred fires of the altars of 
Delphi, Athens, and Rome, were rekindled not from another 
fire^^ but from tbe sun's beams concentrated in a brazen re- 
flector*^. The opinion intimated by the rite that earthly fire is 
originally kindled fix)m the sky'^ recurs in the legend of the 
precipitation of Hephsstus from the verge of heaven **, so that 
the prize which Prometheus stole from Hephaestus came ori- 
ginally from Zeus**.^ It was the practice of many nations, 
particularly the Phoenicians and Egyptians, to celebrate the 
renewal of the year and of the sun by a jubilee of illumi- 
nation'^. An annual ceremony of this kind took place at 

** Cl3iiieiie, Paadoiv, &e. 

^* Iliad, vL 186. Crena. S. !▼. 10. Soph. Antig. 964. Welcker, Trilogie, 10. 
Comp. Poiphyr. de Antr. 11, and not^, p. 99. Heraditos in Biog. L. ix. 9. Iftis 
and Osiris, ch. 84, 85. 

"• ArdibebMcht, Zend, pt 2, pp. 142. 146. 190, 191 ; pt iii 19. 

" Hmaoe,Od.L4. 

*■ Apollod. FFBgm. 29. Didot Oomp. Stnbo, xiu. 628. 

^ " Strange " fire. LeTit. x. 1. 

* Plnlaidi, Noma. Clem. Alex. Strom, t. 668. This piactice still continues at 
Borne, where the holy fire u relit at St Peter*s from the nm on the morning before 
Easter Sunday. 

*> Acdns, Frig. Philoct £schyl. Didotr p. 199. 

•^ Iliad, i. 591. 

" Hesiod, Works, 51, but compare Theog. 505. 

** Avx^^x'^'*"' Herod, ii. 62. Crenz. Symb. ir. 765. Pans. ii. 22 4 ; vii. 
27. 1. Joseph. Antiq. xii. 7. 7. Ewald, Anhang to Geschichte, 121. 


liemnos ; daring nine days fdl fire throughout the island was 
extinguished^ and in the mean time a sacred vessel had been 
dispatched to bring new fire firom the altar at Delos, which 
after the close of a general lustration of the island was dis- 
tributed among the inhabitants, and called the ''commence- 
ment of a new life."'* The preparatory ceremony of purifica- 
tion and atonement addressed, it is said, to Ctbonian powers, 
gave rise to a number of legends to explain it. It was sup- 
posed to be founded on the dreadful tragedy of the murder by 
women for which Lemnos was notorious '\ and which made the 
*' Lemnian woes '* a byword for deeds of horror. The Lem- 
nian women, jealous, it was said, of the violated honour of 
HephflBstus, had neglected the altars of Aphrodite, and tlie 
goddess in revenge made them odious to their husbands. The 
men took Thradan concubines, and were then murdered by 
their wives, with the exception of king Thoas, father of Hypsi- 
pyle, who either hid her father, or placed him in a ship or ark 
(xstfvai), in which he was conveyed safely to Tauris or to 
CEnoe". The avenging Aphrodite in this account is pro- 
bably one with Hypsipyle, afterwards married to Jason, and 
with Medea, whose magic art is occasionally substituted for 
the power of the angry goddess in producing the catastrophe. 
The Lemnians worshipped a goddess called Lemnos, Ghryse, 
Myrina, or Athene Jasonia", who served with human victims in- 
fected with serpents' poison the foot of Philoctetes, and since the 
notion entertained of the Deity is to many purposes the Deity 
itself, might by residents in a pestilential climate" be called 
the true source of the hereditary curse or calamity of their 
island*^. The same jealous power who now befiiended Jason 

« Pliaottmt Heroic, xix. 14. p. 741. "• Hi. 740. JR^chjl Cboph. 621. 

** Hjg. Fab. XT. p. 60. ApoUon. Rh. L 622. SchoL Burip. HeenlM, 875. 

"* Comp. Mailer, Kleine Schrift. iL 178. 206. Dor. l 886. Orchom. 296, 207. 
SchoL ApoUon. i. 773. Paof. tuL $8. 2. 

• Thucyd. iL 47. 

** T« " Anfum mum ;" my$t, fmufuk i* eiJin " H Ibm rtg E^n Omt t" Bofip. 
PhoBnin. 811. There was a eimilar proyeib a« to the " wart" of Troy, " «« UUy 
MM.'* Baitaft. IL it. 48. 


had of old caused the misfortunes of the house of Athamas, 
and afterwards presided over the fall of Troy, when the emblem 
of Poseidon had reached its citadel, and when his serpents had 
destroyed Laocoon'*. She murdered her children at Corinth, 
yet afterwards made them immortal, and averted a pestilence by 
an expiatory sacrifice to Demeter and the Lemnian nymphs*'. 
Demeter herself, who at Thebes gave the mysterious deposit to Pro- 
metheus the Cabirus, {'jra^oucaradYixn,) was angered by Poseidon, 
and concealing herself in a cavern destroyed by her absence the 
fruits of the earth** ; but Pan discovered her Arcadian retreat, and 
Zeus at length prevailed on her to return through the interces- 
sion of the Parc8B. Cicero says justly that the mysteries were 
rather a revelation of the processes of physical nature than of 
the nature of the gods**. Nature is for ever concealing or de- 
stroying her children**, and murdering her successive husbands**. 
The revolution of nature may be called the abduction of her 
health or beauty, and the cause of the calamity may be sup- 
posed to be either the transgression of the captor*^, the 
severity of the Deity, or the fatal gift of beauty itself. Woman, 
therefore**, or women in general**, are a common mythical 
source of human woe***; hence the massacre of the sons of 
.£gyptus was by Euripides compared with the tragedy of 
Lemnos*", as with that of the Thracian Tyrant blinded through 
his avidity to seize the hidden treasures of Polydorus. The 
fabulous Amazons are said to have imposed on men the tasks 
of women, to have maimed and made slaves of them***. The 
sun itself was maimed, enslaved, or killed, in the stories of his 

•^ Horn. Odyu. Tui. 511. Yiig. £n. ii. 612. 

•* Schol Pind. 01. ziiL 74. M&Uer, Orchom. 267. Welcker, Trilogie, 220. 

•» PauB. viiL 42. 2. •• De N. D. i. 42. 

*" Comp. PauB. n. 8. 8. Altbea, ScjUa, &c. 

*" Comp. Alian. Y. H. rii. 1. 

^ Zeus, Tbyestes, Paris, Agamemnon, HenneB-Cthomus, &c 

*" Helena, Pandora, iBrope, Clytssmnestra, &c. 

*" DanaideB, MsnadeB, TroadoB, led by Hecate-Hecabe, &c 

»• OdyBB. xi. 427. »•» Hecub. 874. 

» Diod. a ii. 45. 

VOL. I. P 


mythical representatives^ whetiher a single hero, under the name 
of Memnon, Tenages, Hercules, &c., or separate personifications 
of weeks or months, as the suitors of Hippodamia or of Pene- 
lope, the children of ^gyptus, Lycaon, or Niohe'^'. 

But, in order to account for nature's perpetuation, one of the 
intended TLctims was usually permitted to escape. I«emnos had 
two characters ; it was the Mendly asylum of the Argonauts^ 
rich in wines sent to the Achaeans before Troy, as well as a 
land of pestilence, the inhospitable and dangerous coast shunned 
by prudent navigators ^^^. It had the double character of its 
Deity, Aphrodite-Myrrhina or Artemis, whose aspect in ritual 
was often in direct contrast with the delineations of the Epic. 
Lemnoe was a city of the Amazons, that is, it was not only a 
place where females were treated deferentially ^^^, but was one of 
the many seats of the worship of Ares and of Hecate or Arte- 
mis Tauropolos^^; a worship in which a chorus of women re- 
presenting the daughters of Mars^^^ or champions of the moon, 
presided over the symbolical death of the year-god, as when the 
daughters of Pelias kiUed their aged father at the moment when 
Medea (Artemis-Luna), on pretence of addressing a prayer to 
the moon, raised from the palace roof the torch signal to the in- 
vading Argonauts ^'". Legend seeks the foundation of a known 

*^ The moon at its ritiiig nay be said to be t)|e death of the san, as the son of 
the moon daring the day. The numerous names given to the sun and moon would, 
of course, multiply the number of these allegorical murders. Uschold. Yorh. 
ii. 810. 

»w Iliad, xxiy. 768. Soph. Philoctet 801. >« ApoUod. i. 9. 17. 

10* Myrrhina. Welcker, Tril. 590. Cedled " ir$X»^mst^fu$" "the much bound- 
ing," Iliad, ii. 814; — hence wife of Ares-Thoas. Uschold gives a different reason 
for there being a city of the Amazons in Lemnos (Vorhalle, ii. 299. 805) ; and dif- 
ficulties have arisen owing to the local worship of the moon and the ideal sites of its 
rising and setting being confounded in legends. According to Sprengel the moon ia 
called " Haza" in the knguage of the Tcherkesses. Comp. Dubois, Voyage ea 
Gaucase, i p. 150. 

>«" Died. iL 45, 46. 

i«* Diod. iv. 52. The same proceeding U in Viigil (^n. vL 512. sq.) attributed 
to Helena, who betrayed her husband, Deiphobus, to the Gbeeks, and who was 
sometimes confounded with Medea, as wife of Achilles. SchoL Lycophr. 174. 
Pans, iii 19. 11. 


custom in some imaginary history ; and, the less obvious the real 
meaniug of the rite, the more striking the contrast it makes 
with the attempted explanation. The mystery of the " Lemnian 
woe" was accounted for by a massacre of men c(»umitted by 
women *°', as elsewhere by a single woman ^^^; the sacrifice of 
Oalydon was a consequence of the original offence of CEneus, 
the yearly lament of Corinth"' a continuing expiation for the 
murder of the children of Medea. In each case the real cause 
of sorrow was the death of nature, (Thoas^ Arohemorus, Dio- 
nysus'^',) the intermission of her fertility, the extinction of her 
torch, for the gods fled from Lemnos in consequence of the 
massacre'^', and the exdnction of the Bacchic torch by Lycur- 
gus '*^ is only another way of telling the old tale of the death of 
one Gabirus at the hands of his brothers''^. The torch expires 
with the god, whose altars are rekindled on his re-appearance, 
and the alternation of the Bacchic drama is kept up in the sub- 
sequent history of Hypeipyle in Lemnos and Arcadia "^ asl well 
as in the double character of Thoas, now victim of the Lemnian 
Mffinades, and again, as tyrant of Thrace, offering human vic- 
tims to Diana Taurica until his career is ended by Apollo's son, 
and presumed brother of Orestes "^. Lemnos, the " rugged seat 
of Hephaestus," "' was also the " rock of Hermes." "* The latter 
god, caUed Saos or Samoa at Samothrace, and who also gave 
his name to Imbros'*®, was the great deity of Thrace, the re- 
puted ancestor of its kings '*' ; and, after the usual practice of 
Greek and Boman writers in the interpretation of foreign mytho- 

">* "Of^mra,*' translated *' mi^^Mrtfi,*' by Herodotus, iT. 110, answers to 
" mvrmni^" the attribnte of the Amazons in the Iliad, yi. 186. Oomp. Deianeira, 
Bnarete, Metaneiia, GlytsemnestFa, Briphyle, &c. 

"• Odyss. ii. 884. "> Enrip. Medea, 1882. 

"* Pkiift. TiL 18. 6. Apollod. iii 6. 4. 

»» Welckcr, TriL 248. >" Antig. 964. 

>» Welcker, 251, 252. Oomp. the two bollocks slain by Hermes. H. H. 117. 

"• Pans. iiL 6. 4. 

*^ Ghryses. Hyg. Fab. 121. Schol. Apollon. i. 604. 

"• Dion. P. 622. »• "E^f,M^ Xtwt." iBsch. Agam. 284. 

■^ As Himeroal Steph. Bys. ad. ▼. 

■'■ Herod. ▼. 7. Baehr's note. 

P 2 


logy*", was compared to the " Wodan" of the Celts and Teu- 
tons. In Celtic and Teatonic Thrace ***, a name which, before it 
was limited by Herodotus to the boundary of the Ister, seems 
to have been a general designation of countries to the north, 
Hermes appeared in many respects the nearest parallel to the 
local god ; and may afterwards, by the subdivision of his person, 
have been the fittest agent to represent the Supreme Being in 
the Promethean drama of iBschylus. The theatre of this 
drama is as widely extended as the divine character whom it re- 
presents; for Prometheus is king in Egypt"*, and in Scythia***; 
his habitation is in Peloponnesus, or Locris, on the Paropa- 
misus or Caucasus. On Caucasus he may only have been re- 
stored to his true home"'; for it is observable that the name of 
Zeus, and also that of Minerva, were unknown to the Cauca- 
sians"^, possibly because their places were filled by personifica- 
tions whose attributes were inconsistent with those of their sup- 
posed Grecian equivalents. From Caucasus and the Tauiio 
Chersonese, a land, like Lemnos, inhabited by Sindians or 
Sintians, where the Titan god passed the sea upon a bull"*, as 
Phrixus on the ram, an eminent writer ^'^ has endeavoured to 
trace the progress of a beneficent Deity whose symbol was the 
sun, and who seems to have united the attributes of Hermes 
and Zeus, of Prometheus and Hercules. Whether as Coros*** 

>» They explained a foreign god by referring to the corresponding personification 
in their own Pantheon, mentioning the foreign name only where they could find no 
native analogy. They admitted themselyes to be ponied only when, as in the case 
of the Dis Asculapiiu of Sinope in Tacitus, the hceU of the divine aspect seemed 
to have no one predominating side. 

»« Strabo, p. 804. »~ Diod. 8. i. 19. 

>*» Schol. ApoUon. Rh. il 1252. 

i» It is well known how often the place of the exile of a god, as, for. example, of 
the Titans, Hephsestus, &c., is in reality his native home. Oomp. Lennep. to Het. 
Theog. p. 801. A simihir exile would apply to Heimes-Othonius, allied, like Jasns, 
to a telluric Demeter or Hecate^ in Greece called Persephone. Comp. Cic. N. D. 
iii. 22. p. 607, Creuz. Herod, v. 7. Propert il 2. 11. Tacit. Hist iv. 88. 

»" Schol. Apollon. Rh. ii. 1249. *» Orph. Argon. 1060. 

** Ritter, Vorhalle Sur. Qesch. pp. 876. 881, &c. 

i» Ritter, ib. p. 89. 

^ -^'X 


or Aristflsas^ Wodan or Bnddha, Prometheus or Poseidon^ he 
tanght the arts of peace as well as of war, and paved the path 
of commerce along the snn's course from the Tanais and Borys- 
thenes to the coasts of Iberia ^'\ But under all its varieties of 
name and personification the divinity of nature sinks from the 
zenith of its glory into a state of humiliation or dissolution, 
and the vicissitudes of Prometheus were a stumbling-block to 
LactantiuSy who with unaccountable inconsistency could not 
believe that a being undergoing a cruel punishment could by 
any possibility have been a god^*'. Yet it is in this very cir- 
cumstance that his character is most distinctly marked as a 
nature-god ; he is subject to the same accidents of temporary 
banishment and eclipse as the solar light which is his proto- 
type*"; he is chained in Hades or on Caucasus^ and even his 
grave was shown at Argos, or the Locrian Opus"*, He under- 
went the fate of many other Deities whose characters^ morally 
as well as physically, were analysed or changed according to 
the fancy of their worshippers, and who like the Hindoo Nard- 
man or Nareda*"* fluctuating between the celestial and the 
Titanic^ needed only to be subdivided in order to seem trans* 
formed. When ^thalides, the son of Hermes, who filled in 
relation to the Argonauts the same office as Hermes to the 
gods, is described as having received from his father the privi- 
lege of being alternately in Hades and with men, in the upper 
and the lower world, he is merely made to perform the alternate 
office of his prototype or parent as originally suggested by the 
revolution of nature ; and a similar change is recorded iU the 
story of Prometheus, the probable equivalent of the same Deity, 
when represented as either bound like Cronus, tortured like 
Phineus, or associated with the watery Poseidon in the sacred 
precinct of Colonos*"', where (Edipus, blinded rather by the gods 

>•• Diod. & iT. 19. *** De Orig. Brroru, ii. 10< 

>« Comp. Liufaui*s Prom* eh. 18. '^ Paui. li. 19. 

■^ Crens. Symb. i. 406. 

«» Nuii«d from the "god" Oolonof Hippotes ''m^xvy^" Soph. (Ed. Colon. 
60. 66. Comp. Ritter Vorhalle, pp. 61. 888, &c. 


than by himself *'^, descended to the shades *". However defective 
or obscure the attempted explanations of his story from the 
legends of the Brahmins and Buddhists ' *^ it is at least clear that 
the notion of a suffering deity, of one who, tortured, blinded, 
or imprisoned, might represent the physical speculations of 
his worshippers, and as a penitent their ascetic practices, 
was widely spread from India westwards, in the stories of 
Jemsheed, Henoch, or Cronus '^^ and the chorus in ^schylufi 
describes the wide area through which diversified nations, 
Scythians, Asians, and Arabians, bewailed the dying or decUning 
Titan'*'. Chained to his pillar, Prometheus appears as a hiero- 
glyphic of the union of astral and earthly fetichism, a Hermes 
Lithinos, and his crucifixion '^^ a form of punishment in which 
the intention of sacrifice mingled with that of an execution '^^ 
may remind us of the self-inflicted penance of Simeon Stylites 
standing with arms outstretched'^ in the form of a cross, and 
ultimately leaving his bones to become the palladium of Antioch. 
The real character of Prometheus was forgotten, his symbols 
were made the instruments of his imaginary punishment, and 
his pride and downfall turned into a moral. In the temporary 
reverses of his physical career he was supposed to be sufiering 

w Burip. Phoen. 871. 

*^ Iliad, Yiii. 16. Hes. Tbeog. 808. Soph. (Bd. Colon. 58 and 1590, and 
Scholia. Pauaan. L 80. 2. 

** Bitter, Vorhalle, 462, &c. The many names of persons and places evidently 
Sanscrit, «. ff. " Spei^pithes," — Swaigapitor^^kiog of the Agathyrsi, &c. Herod, 
iy. 76. 78, comp. i. 211, afford curious eridence of early community of language and 
ideas between Asia and Burope. Hence attempts haye been made to explain 
Promethetts ftom the Puranas, as " Paramesht'hln,*' the Sapreme, a title of Indra or 
BiahmL Lassen, Ind. A. L 771. " Pnunat-h^sa,** a name of Sevi. Bitter, ih. 

^^ Ps. Plttt. de FluY. Hudson Gkogr. Minor, ii. p. 11. Steph. Byx. t. Iconion. 

"' Prom. 404. Bothe. 

la "Transyerberatus;" in Cicero. '* trm^utttt* Ludan, Prometh. toI. i. p. 
186, Ac* 

1^ The cross being an ancient emblem of the sun, and crucifixion a form of sun- 
sacrifice. Payne, Knight, Anct. Art pp. 46. 96. 98. 161. 198, &c Qhillany, 
Menschenopfer, 627. 630. 

'** In sacrifice, the victim becomes identified with the Deity, and the gods were 
said (Both*8 Profile to the Nirukta) to have attained heaven by sacrificing. 


the T6ngeimce of heaven for presumption, in company lyith his 
fellow Titans^ like Brahma, ihe world-sunk emhlem of intelli- 
gence, or the Scandinayian fire-spirit Loka. He was hung in 
chains like Ntmrod'"*^, or like Bah, the rebellious giant of the 
Puranas^^ consigned by Yishnou to the infernal Patala. 

§ 16. 


M3rthi are but extreme instances of that inverted vision which 
sees the objective in the subjective, and which, more or less, in- 
fects all human notions. They express the general aspect of 
the external world through the internal thought, and doubtless 
reflect man's life and actions as well as physical phenomena. 
But mythology is not history, nor can it by any modem pro- 
cess be transformed into history. Fact has been too closely in- 
volved with opinion, the impressions of successive ages too 
thickly crowded into one story, to admit of being now restored 
with exactness to their proper respective forms. But these im- 
pressions and opinions are grouped round a central meaning, 
which, by comparison with other analogous stories, may, in its 
generality, be recovered, thus reconverting gods into Titans, 
Titans into powers, or into parts of that notional imagery 
which was the " wisdom" of antiquity. It is only when viewed 
rather as a record of opinion^ than of events, that the study of 
mythology becomes a really important part of that of history, 
making up for vagueness by the comprehensiveness of range 
which displays the conceptions of centuries at a glance, and 
exhibiting in the clearest light those causes which from the 

1^ Job zzxviiL 31. Comp. Gesen. Tket. voc. Chesil. 

^ Hu ultimstti puniiliment is described as h deaTing of the rock, which enclasps 
him within its rift (991, Bothe), as in modem Arabian romance the giant Balishboul, 
ineantionsly reading aloud the inscription upon the piUar on Mount Caucasus, pro- 
nounces his own sentence of eternal chains. 

* " Hier,^ says Miiller, speaking of the story of the Argonauts (Orchom. 260), 
" wie fLberall, verkennen wir nicht das der tiefste grund des Mythns nicht «m his- 
torisches Actum sey, sondem ein Ideales." 


earliest times to the present have most seriously impeded the 
free development of mind, and the intellectual struggle, of 
which the very anomalies which perplex the pragmatical anti- 
quary are often the most interesting and instructive examples. 
The popular forms of polytheism were a lowering of the mys- 
terious feeling of multipUcity in unity calculated to fit it for ge- 
neral reception ; these forms, however, did not arise out of any 
such a systematic subdivision of the attributes and offices of the 
Divinity as an artificial theogony would suggest', for the opera- 
tion is never premeditated, but fix>m the various ways in which 
the same circle of ideas has been treated in the traditions of 
different localities and tribes. The diversified materials thus 
prepared were gradually wrought into a system through the po- 
litical connection of the Grecian states, aided by long-continued 
efforts of poetry, which brought a number of local gods into one 
federative assembly similar to the improved forms of human as- 
sociation. Each tribal or local worship had a character of ge- 
nerality, and exhibited more or less prominently every known 
attribute of the Supreme Being. But the peculiarities of na- 
tional temperament or occupation had lent to particular legends 
a special direction, and the syncretism of a later period assigned 
a limited individual character to each of the members of its 
Pantheon, in accordance with the peculiar local colouring in 
which they were found. The war or death-god Ares- seems to 
represent the fierce characteristics of the Thracian or Scythian 
symbol of the scymetar, who built up a temple out of the skulls 
of his murdered victims ^ and the personal effeminacy of Aphro- 
dite, as well as her emblems of the dove and fish^ are reflected 
from Syria, Cyprus, and Cythera. The legend sung by Demo- 
docus accompanied by the starry dances mimicked by the twink- 
ling feet^ of the Phaeacians is the divine amour* of the Samo- 

' ^achyl. From* 287. Hes. Theog. 886. 

' Stesichonu in Schol. Find. 01. xi. 19. Meunios to Lycophr. 937. Enrip. 
Here. Far. 891. 

* Schol. Ambros. to OdyH. viii. 266. Lobeck, Aglaoph. i. 182. 


thracian mystery^ mvoMiig the same idea of nniyersal genera- 
tion, from the alliance of harmony and discord, which afterwards 
received a philosophical or dogmatic form in the systems of 
Heraclitus and Empedocles. The Here or Despsena of Samos 
or Argos retaining only in feature some of the characteristics of 
her supposed rival, the ox-eyed lo^ in her Homeric form is 
chiefly remarkable for the vindictive jealousy ascribed to her in 
preceding Heracleas, and betrays only incidentally her wider 
significancy in the story of the anvils, the wearing of the all- 
binding cestus, the confederacy with sleep, in that of her being 
received and nurtured by the powers of the sea, as Zeus had 
been by those of earth ^. The Hermes, " e^iouvtof"^ of Homer 
faintly preserves the characteristics of the nomian or ithyphallic 
god of the Samothracian or Arcadian Pelasgians, elsewhere de- 
scribed as son of heaven and earth, creator and lord of life*, 
whose touch converted into gold the fleece of the ram of 
Phryxus*^ and who, himself taking the ram fbrm", became 
the vernal lover of Persephone-Penelope ^^ and the Gthonian 
Hermes, Ericthonius, or Plutus, at Athens^*. In the character 
of this latter personage, the reputed founder of the Athenian 
^parf lai ^^, he seems to approach that union of intellectual with 
physical power> of the Arcadian Pan^^ with Cadmus, which 

* Bnttath. to DioiL Perieg. 92. 140i 

' Oiad, ziv. 202. Comp. Hes. Theog. 479. 
■ The "bounteous." 

* Paiu. vi. 26. Cuiero, 1^. D. ill 22. Isis and Osiris, 12 tod 41. Herod, ii. 51. 
Gonf. Odyss. yiii. 842. Cieus. S. 8. 885. 

» ApoUon. Bh. ii. 1147. 

" Heimet, " OriophorD^" represented probably by Dlysses issuing out of the 
Oydop's cave, borne upon a nun. Odyss. 482. 550* 

'• Pans. i. 88. 

*' The second Hermes of Cicero, called " tu^imi,** idtetical with Jasion, and 
fether of Plutus, by Demeter or Oeres; as Mercury, or Hermes by Daira, or 
Persephone, was &ther of Eleusis, or Prorentus. (Comp. Ghiigniaut, ReL ii. 674. 
Demeter and Persephone were often identified. Herod, ii 156. Pans. yiii. 87. 8.) 

'^ Guigniant, Kel. ii. 717. * 

** Plato, Cratyl. 408'*. Creuser, Symb. iii. p. 286. Wooer of Penelope under 
the form of a goat, i. e, Ulysses. Comp. Ludan, Deor. Dial. vol. i. p. 269. 22. 


caused hun to be compaEed nath the £g]^tian Thoth '". For 
the author of laws and letters, who flies into Egypt on account 
of the murder of his correlatiye, Argus-Fanoptes ", is the theo- 
retical comparison of a god originally Pelasgian with the Egyp- 
tian hieroglyph of the united force and wisdom of Nature pre- 
siding over the vicissitudes of day and night. The commence- 
ments of the process of incorporation by which the s^arate 
conceptions of different tribes, as the Sun-God of the north 
of Theesaly, the lo^Hera <tf Argos, or the Poseidon of the 
^gean, were brought to meet upon the Homeric Olympus, 
consisted probably in minor and limited confederacies, when, 
from motives of mingled policy and superstition, individual 
cities or states gathered into a cycle the gods of its subject 
tribes, in order to cement their union by community of wor- 
ship '* ; and hence the establishment of political communities 
was attributed to mythical persons whose names are emblems of 
deities ^*. But it was the poets, beginning with the bards of 
Pieria, who laid the foundations of a religion more widely na- 
tional in the conception of Olympus; and of a system, in 
which the character of each divinity was made to bend to the 
requirements of the whole, while it preserved in a great measure 
its local propriety ^^ Yet, throughout the whole course of 
mythical and poetical development, an element of monotheism 
continued to be preserved ; and it is chiefly from the general 
and paramount character of each local god, however afterwards 
individualised, that so much confiision and complexity seem to 
prevail through the crossing and intermingling of mythical 
titles, offices, and attributes ; for the dramatic separation, itself 
necessarily imperfect, still remained problematical in the gene- 
ral mass of traditions, and the remnants of universal nature- 
worship survived in each legendary specification. Thus, Hera 

'• Cic. N. D. iii. 22. 

^^ Scbol. Ettrip. PhcBiiiBS. 1181. Macrob. Zeun. p. 317. 

'* MuUer, Myth. p. 180. Comp. Orchom. 21 Q. 

^' Ceciops, Theseus, Hexxmles, &c. Thirlwall's Hist. toI. ii. p. 9. 

» Mailer, Myth. 181 (or 241). 


is confoimded with Artemis and Aphfodite as Luoina'^; as 
Dione, or as daughter of Demeter ^', she resembles both Aphro- 
dite and Persephone '^ the Bemeter Hercyna of Lebadea^^ or 
the Argive Prosynma, who declared death preferable to life^^; 
and she bears the same character when wounded by Hercules ^^ 
or wedded to Jove in the caverns of Citheron. like Minerva 
at Athens, or Apollo at Corinth '^^ she contends for empire 
with Neptune at Argos'^'; and her statue by Polycletus held 
the mysterious pomegranate tasted also by Cora in Hades ^^. 
Her presence is felt among the Athamantides as an avenging 
power when Nephele retires, and as alternately protector and 
persecutor of Jason she merges into the general circle of 
Cthonian worship, blending with the Demeter wedded to 
Poseidon in Arcadia ^^ to Jasion at Samothrace '', or with 
the Argive or Corinthian Acreea worshipped with yearly 
ceremonies of mourning and expiation '^. Under the general 
name of Artemis was included a wide circle of Deities, 
from the magna mater of Upper Asia, and the many- 
breasted symbol of Ephesue, extending to the Thracian or 
Scythian Bendis, the astronomical hieroglyph of the sun and 
moon, called Tauropolos, the Amazon of the Thermodon, and 
the Cretan Britomartis. The Greeks decomposed the exuber- 
ance of the Asiatic Panthea until the symbolical Eurynome, 
consort of the primeeval serpent" who ruled before Cronus, 
was restricted to certain peculiarities of her worship, and as the 
iEtolian Laphria ^ or the Arcadian Callisto or Atalanta, the 
Hecate to whom for symbolical reasons the dog was con- 
secrated, became the huntress of the hills accompanied by 

>< Or. Fait ii 449; iii. 255. ^ Paoi. viu. 42. 

^ Gbigniant, Bel. ii. 608. Comp. Herod. iL 156. Paus. viii. 87. 8* 
^ MiiUer, Orchom. 149. » Herod, i. 81. 

» Iliad, T. 392. «7 Pans. ii. 1. 

» Paiu. ii. 15. Gaigniant, R. iL 618. » Pans. ii. 17. 

^ H. Hippia. Pans. y. 15. 4. >' MOller, Onhom. 262. 

" Burip. Medea, 1879. " Bfntn TtXtfrtn^f n mmi tf4t»s" Philostr. Her. zix. 
p. 740. 

^ ApoUon. Bh. i. 508. Comp. Paus. viii. 41. 4. ^ Paus. iy. 81. 6, 7. 18. 6. 


dogs *^, and the Delian aister of Apollo sung by Olen. The 
Homeric gods are phantasms which change or vanish when they 
pass beyond the magic circle of the art which created them ; and 
though the veil of personification never entirely eclipses the 
background of significancy in which all divine beings approxi- 
mate and melt into one another, to a superficial eye, and for 
the mere purpose of dramatic illusion, the disguise is impene- 
trable and complete. They alone, who, by confironting the 
original mystery became versed in Pantheistic speculation, were 
able to make the rigid and as it were opaque forms of poly- 
theism transparent, to connect its antitheses, to pursue them 
beyond the limits of the technical forms whose exact history 
it was difficult or impossible to recover, and thus to resolve 
Ceres, Venus, and Persephone into the generality of idea which 
embraced them all "*. 

§ 17. 


Generally speaking, the class of deities of which the 
Athenian Pallas* was the type, are only variations of Here, 
Artemis, or Demeter; nature Goddesses, alteriiig with the 
course of events, and, in AthenA, elevated proportionably to 
the conceptions of a philosophic people. When the idea of 
Zeus was subdivided into a variety of persons, it was natural 
that the sacfed marriage of the Divine Father ' should be as 
often repeated, and that in each personification he should find 
a suitable ally in a corresponding modification of hid original 
consort, Urania, or Geea', who, in the Lacedemonian Here, 

** Oomp. Pans. 1. 19. 1. Plut. Isis and Osiris, ch. xiv. Oretu. S. ii. 626j 

* Apuleii, Metam. 11. ch. iL and t. pp. 76i and 768, Oud. 984 and 998, Hil- 

> Pallas Ahftuti. Mliller, Eleine Schriften, il 186. 

' Pans. z. 12. 5. Herod, iv. 59. 

' Cthonia. Pherec. Sturs. 40. sq., clasped in the embrace of iBther, or Zens. 
Eurip. Frag. inc. 1 and 178. Vacknaer, Diatr. yl p. 60. Plato, Phsdo, Wytt. 

ATHENE. 221 

like the Phrygian Cybele, was crowned with towers *, and whose 
worship was alternate, i,e,, equivalent or identical with that of 
Eleosinian Ceres '. Hence would arise many different aspects 
or hypostases of female Nature, or of Gflea, among whom 
intellectual Athens would naturally claim the lofdest for its 
patroness. But as Zeus was not at first the philosophical god 
of the Platonists and Stoics ', so Athena was not originally 
Thenoe^, the personification of wisdom, but rather the con- 
servative power of physical Nature *, the protectress of Ulysses 
and Hercules cosmically understood, the rescuer, like Isis, of 
the duffecta membra of the universe, or of the remains of 
Dionysus '. Attended by the Agraulian nymphs, the daughters 
of Cecrops, she was a rural goddess, perhaps once their mother; 
and, it may be added, that common mother of gods and men 
still familiar at Ells ", nor even at Athens or Sparta forgotten ", 
whom Sophocles felt authorised, conformably to the received 
Theogony ", to call " most supreme of deities, and mother of 
Zeus himself."** The "purely ethical character" which a 
recent work *^ pronounces to be the primary idea of Athena, 
can become so only by a gratuitous inference firom the 
popular presentments of her character under the peculiar 
limitations of the Olympian or poetical Pantheon; it being 

p. 84. Creus. S. i 49, 50. 186. JEscbyl. SnppL 897. MUUer, Myth. Tr. 182. 
Qe-Eourotrophot, to whom Brichthonini first sacrificed. Snidas, s. y. Pans. L 22, 28 ; 
iii 11. 8. Gm-Biirystemos at Agss. Pans. vii. 25. 8. 

* Onigniaiit, R. iL 595. 601. « Serr. ad Yiig. Mn, vr. 58. 

* Plato, Phileb. 16. Prodiu in Gxalyl. && Plutarch do Stoic. Repng. 88, 89. 

7 Pinto, Ontyl. L 407. " Prodns in Cratyl. Boiss. 117. 

* Mailer, Mythol. 819. 

'* Pind. Nem. 6. Frag. Incert Boekh. 87. Comp. the Acidalian mother of the 
Charites, MftUer, Oichom. 178. Pans. t. 8, 8 ; yi. 26. 2. 

" MfiUer, ib. 158. Pans. i. 22. 8 ; iii. 11. 8 ; z. 12. 5. 

" Pans. L 81. 2. 

" Soph. Antig. 888. Philoctet 892. Aschyl. Choeph. 121, Bloom. Enrip. 
Frag. Chrys. vii 1. Fiag. Incert 174. 1. Hippolyt 601. Diog. L. iii. 75, Me- 

'« 8mith*s GhMS. Dictionary—" Athene.'* 


now generally admitted by mytliologists, that religion was ante- 
rior or paramonnt to artificial poetry, and that its legends, as 
physical symbols, preceded the spiritual or moral applications 
of them ". The " daughter of Zeus," it is true, was not 
"mother" of Erectheus, but only " nurse of the child brought 
forth by Earth," " that pdlyonymous mother, T^hom Euripides 
calls Hestia*^, and who was the great deity of the nordiem 
tribes, both Scythian and Phrygian *'. But in the very different 
representations of Athena in local ritual, which could not have 
arisen after her conventional character had been fixed iii the 
epic, she appears as a genius presiding over birth and mar- 
riage '• ; and her alliance with Hermes, Hephsstus, or Pro- 
metheus, each of whom may in this relation be regarded as the 
supreme Deity, is the great mystery concealed behind her exo* 
terio form'*. The Minerva of the Acropolis of Troy*', who 
there acts the part of an angry demon, or At6, threatening the 

" " Bfl kann keinem zweifel unterliegen doss in Durchachnitt genommen die in 
cultnr auBgedruckten Vontellangen die iiltern sein miissen.** — " Festgebiancfae nhd 
localmythen in ihiem Eiuamnienhange mit der natur der einzigen Landacfaaften nnd 
den Jahresseitca nihen ofFenbar auf einer Torheirschend phjiischen Omndlage, 
w&hrend die spater hereckend gewordene Vorstellung ansschlieslicb geistig ist,** &c. 
HUller, ib. pp.222, 223. Hythol. 218.852. Trand. 289. " Et ist eine ansge- 
mackte Sache, dass die auukaunngen der &lte8ten V5lker welche nns besonden in 
Sprache nnd Religion liberliefert sind, je boberes alter sie haben, desto mehr auf 
das Sinnlicbe baaert nnd damit yerwacbsen rind, je weiter aber die Onltnr ibrt- 
ickreitet, nm so mebr ricb Ton den sinnlichen elementen emancipiren nnd za rein 
geistigen Vorstellnngen gestalten.* — H. D. HUller, BeitragHber Ares, 1848. 

" * Ov ir*r Afii*n-4^t^$f A««f, 4»ymm^y r»i )i ^i^«»^«f a^»v^M, Iliad, ii. 547. 

" Frag. Inc. 178. 

'* Strabo, z. 469. Herod, iv. 59. The Mitra, or Persian Artemis, Herod, i. 
181 ; Creuz, Symb. 1 229, paralleled witb Minerraby Plutarch, vit. Artazerz. Apa- 
turia, or Astara, in Syria, and on the Lake Mseotis. Bitter Vorfaalle, 74. 216. The 
Athene to wbom Xerxes sacrificed in the Troad, Herod. Tii. 48 ; Pint. Tit. LuculL; 
Diod. 8. ▼. 77; and to whom human victims were sacrificed, Pind. 01. cviii. 8. 

'■ As "ytnrmt:* Mtiller, El. Schrift. ib. 158. Eurip. Ion, 469. Phceniss. 1060. 

*^ e. g. The Hers^ wooed by Hermes is Athene, Apollod. iii. 14. 8 ; so of Eupo- 
lemia, Penelope, &c As Agraulos she was wedded to Mars, as Helena, or iBtkra, 
to Theseus, or Poseidon, &c. 

" Iliad, Yi. 88. 287 ; Vii^. ^Sn. ii. 165 ; Miiller, Kleine Schriften, p. 205. 

ATHENE. 228 

rain of her worshippers ^ to be averted only by human vic- 
tims^^, was probably related or equivalent to the Bereoynthian 
mother '^ qp to the "'IdsBa" mater married to Teucer, die Pal- 
ladium of her sanctuary being afterwards claimed for the temple 
of Hestia^ or Yesta^ at Bome^^. 

This goddess, who though not the only one who had a tem- 
ple at. Troy ^^ seems to have been its chief deity ^^, was a sitting 
figure^ upon whose knees Hecuba and her attendants laid the 
shining peplus^^, similar^ probably, in form and character to 
the Bhea or Hera of the Bhaais described by Arrian^*, and 
compared by him to the statue erected by Phidias in the Me- 
troon at Athens. Her Palladium, a wooden block or figure "^ 
probably phallic ^\ and whose ubiquity> indicates as many sites 
of kindred Pelasgian worship'*, was sometimes supposed to 
have dropped from heaven^ like the image of the Ephesian 
goddess, at others to have been conveyed by Dardanus from 
Samotbrace'^^ where Pelasgian or Thracian fetichism seems to 
have borrowed the aid of PhoBuician art, and where the female 
member of a Gosmical Triad was acknowledged under various 
names, as Harmonia or Axiocersa'^. 

^ Tbe hone was framed by the art of Pallas, "divina Palladis arte;" (Viig. 
Sn, 2; Biad, xy. 71; Odyss. TiiL 492; HOUer, Kleine Schrift ii 206;) and the 
•erpents who destroyed Laoeoon take refuge in her temple. 

" MUUer, Orchom. 162. 

** Strabo, x. 469. 478. Virg. JBn. iL 296 ; iz. 258. In iBneid, iL 567. 591, 
Helena, Aphrodite, and Vesta blend as an Brinnys changing to Venus Urania. 

» Dion. Hal. i. 68. Ovid. Fast. tI. 421. 431. Heyne, Bzcm. ix. to iSn. ii. 846. 
849. Stan, Pherecydes, 195. Welcker, Trilogie, 224. 

» Iliad, ▼. 448. « Bitter, VorhaU^ 202. 

» Iliad, Ti. 92. 278. 879. 608. Oreos, Briefe, 82. 84. 

* Periplus, Pont Boxin. ed. Hudson, p. 9. 

** " Axti^**»inr»9 ft0^p§tftm r ut if0i ^ftfiifinsuf" Tzetaes, Lycophr. 855. 

» Creuaer, S. iii. 333. ^ MMer, '' Pallas-Athene," s. 10 and 52. 

'^ Dion. Hal. L 68, 69. 

** Died. S. y. 48. Comp. Gerhard's tabular view of Pelasgian theology in Oreuier, 
8. iiL 154 ; and the intimate connection of the cruel rites of Chryse, the gnnd. 
daughter of Lycaon, as performed at Lemnos and the neighbouring islands, with 
those of the Athene of the Troad. Dion. Hal. i. 88. MiiUer, ub. s. p. 178. 206. 
Kersa, i. q. Cora, HiiUer» Orchom. p. 449, note. Comp. p. 482 ; Welcker, Tiil. 167. 


It was under an analogous form, as Mother of the Universe, 
that Athene was associated with the Pelasgian Hermes of the 
Erectheum, or temple of Minerva Polias at Athens'^, though 
the ithyphallic symhol was there decently concealed by myrtle 
boughs, in deference to the more refined idea of the modem 
goddess. For the warlike character which she possessed, long 
before she became a lover of wisdom", it is scarcely neces- 
sary to have recourse to the peculiar dances of the moon in 
Libya '^ since even Aphrodite was sometimes armed**; and a 
nearer and more general parallel may be found among the 
Amazonian worshippers of Artemis, or Ilithya", the reputed 
founders of several Ionian cities^, whose queen was given in 
marriage to Theseus, and who once fought and fell on Attic 

The physical strife of light and warmth against the powers 
of winter, night, and inundation, was one of the most prolific 
sources of religious legend, and was often celebrated in em- 
blematic contests and dances, in those of the Fabii and Quin- 
tilii at Bome, as in the virgin combats of the lake Tritonis, 
menacing gestures and wild outcries*' being employed to assist 
the efforts of the labouring deity to overcome his opponent 
The idea of Amazons is supposed to have originated firom the 
unusual deference paid to women among several tribes ac- 

** On tlie connection of Hermes with Brimo-Fenephone, comp. Plutarch, Ina and 
OsiriB, ch. zii. De &cie in orbe Lnns, 27, 28. Paus. viii. SI. 1. Gie. N. D. iii. 
22^ Paiu. i. 27. Herod, ii. 51 ; t. 82. Horn. Iliad, ii. 549. 

^ Plato, Timana, 24^ Virg. iBn. ii. 175. Plato, Critias, 110. p. 152. Bek. Me- 
nexenus, 288. 

>* Herod, ii. 170 ; ir. 180. 188. Mtkller, Mythol. 69. 115. 

*" Pans, iii 28. 1. 

* Ckuz. iii 2. 578, sq. ITKliold, Yorfa. i 61. Herod, iy. 116 ; i. 19. Thncyd. 
i. 6. Artemis of the Gh>lden Sword, Herod, yiii. 77. Pallas of the Ghilden Spear, 
Eurip. Ion, 9. 

^ Callim. Dian. 237. Pans. iv. 81. Strabo, zi. 505; ziv. 538. 

*^ Herod, iz. 27. iEschyl. Bum. 625. Plutarch, Thes. 26 ; Heyne to Apollod. 
ii. 5. 9. The belt of Hippolyte is as the oestus of Aphrodite, the great bond of oos- 
mical harmony. 

« "OA.#A»yi»," Iliad, vi. 301. Herod, i. 172 ; iy. 94. 189. Pind. Frag. Inc. 118. 

ATHENE. 225 

counted barbarous , every thing contrary to established cus- 
tom seeming as a kind of prodigy^\ The Greeks discovered 
Amazons wherever they saw men governed by a female^ or 
women doing the usual work of men ^. But there was another 
element in the conception^*. Worship takes its form from ordi- 
nary habits. The worship of the patron deity of the Amazons, 
Artemis *'', was celebrated by a war-dance performed by females. 
War was the principle of Nature, and it was fit that the personi- 
fication of Nature, as well as the ministers of her religion, 
should have a warlike dress*'. The name of a god or of his 
worshippers was easily metamorphosed or multiplied into that 
of a patriarch or nation, when the religious rites enacted in 
mimicry of the contests of the elements were viewed by mytho« 
logy as records of events. The deity of the Amazons was the 
Armenian and Gappadocian Artemis, Anaitis, or Athene-Asia^ 
called Enyo by Strabo '^, to whom warlike dances were per- 
formed by the Hierodouloi of Gomana, as on the banks of the 
Gayster,or Thermodon, and on the Trojan Acropolis; her name'^ 
often recurring along the coasts of Thrace, is probably only a 
different form of the mountain Adrastea of the Idsi Dactyli'% 
and of the Ghryse-Pallas, or Aphrodite-Myrina of the Lemnian 
^Archipelago ••. 

^ Welcker, Trflogie, 586, sq. ** Jerem. zzzi. 22. 

** "Primi Maotida yvfmM§»^mrtvfufMf Kgna AmaBonum." P. Mela, L 19, 19. 
Diod. 8. i. 27 ; ii 45, 46; iii. 58, 55. Soph. (Ed. Colon. 889. Herod, iv. 110. 118. 
Heicolet ii taid to have destroyed the practice and the race. Died. S. iii. 55, p. 
228, line 58. But the bans of fact on which the idea waa raised may be possibly 
atiU snbristing. Dabois, Voyage aotoar dn Caucase, vol. L p. 150. 

* Creua. Symb. iL p. 574*, 672. " Kod. ii 46. 

. * Here and Aphrodite were sometunes aimed, as well as Athene. Pans. iiL 24. 8* 

• Pans, iii 16. 6; 24.5. 

" xii 585; Gomp. MoTers, die Phenisier, 624. 
. ** Difierently written, Aneitis, Anaia, Ame, Creos. S. ii 851. Bnstathhis to 
Iliad, iii. 189, p. 402. Plntarch, in the acoonnt of Sylla's dream, compares her to 
the Moon, to Minerra, and to Bellona (Enyo), with whom Minerva is associated in 
the Siad, t. 888, as in the festival 0f the Omoldia at Thebes and Orchomenos. 

" Schoi Apollon. i 1129. 

" MttUer, Dor. i p. 886. Klinne Schrift. ii 178. 206. "Athene Lemnia," 
Pans, i 28. 2. 

VOL. I. Q 


All the reputed abodes of Amazons, in Libya and Argolisi 
in BcBOtia and Attica, in the mountains of Pontus, or the Scy^ 
thian altars of Tauropolos, were under the patronage of an 
Athene or Artemis•£nyo*^ or some similar being, whose ohief 
antitype in nature was the moon, and whose rites were cele* 
brated by women acting the part of men, as those of the sun 
by men clothed in the garb of women*'. It was probably a 
continuation of the same idea which married Helena, the 
** many-mated,*'** as well as Hippolyte to Theseus, as also 
to Paris at the Isle of Gran'ae, which connected ''Trit«a" 
with Ares*^, and placed the Trojan horse and the Brauro- 
nian Artemis on the Athenian AcropoUs*'. Attic legend^ 
like that of many other Greek states**, opens with the 
strife of Athene with Poseidon, or with the waters, for 
empire over the soil. Like Artemis-Hecabe, or Hecate, she 
has the two aspects of the Nature God, alternately benignant 
and maUgn, the conservatiTs power of the Pelasgian Demeter, 
whose relation to Artemis was known to ^schylus*^, occasion* 
ally changing to an Erinnys or Gorgon, the distaff commuted 
into the ^gis'\ the golden staff of youth'' for the threaten- 
ing spear'*. She assisted the Greeks during the strife against 
Troy, but frowned on them when successful*^; and the sun, 
is said to have stood still in the midst of heaven at her birth, 
until she laid aside her arms**. The two aspects, united in her- 

•' Hind, ▼. 8S8. 

» *' Semiyiri QaUi," Sil. ItaL zriL 20. Gieiis. 8. iL 672. 

»• " ni»T«Xi»T^;' Lycophr. 148. *' H'dUer, KL Schiift. 190. 

«• Paof. i. 28. 9. 

** Fans. ii. 16. 6; il 22. 6; ii. 80. 6. Comp. Wekker, Tril. 268. HQller, 
Orcliom. p. 122. 

•• Herod, ii. 166. Faiu. ii. 22. 2. 

•^ ApoUod. iii. 12. 8. 6. 8. Diod. Fkag. West. 640. Bnstatli. to Diad, iL 91, 
p. 627; and Iliad, Tiii 887. 

" Odyss. xTi. 172. 

** " PiBniiamqile fereni haitamque tram«ixtem." Oomp. Iliad, t. 784 ; oomp^ 
Athene-Laphria, Schol. Lycopbr. 866. 

** Odyss. iii. 186, acting aa the Biiimyi conseqaent on the amour of Ajaz. 

** Horn. Hymn, xzyiii. 18. 

ATHENE. 227 

self, are parted in her attributes or attendants^; Pandro- 
808*^9 the '^ all-bedewing/' the faitMil guardian of the infant 
Erechtheus, the type of all succeeding priestesses who fed the em- 
blematic serpent in the crypts of the Erechtheum, and Aglauros, 
the "sharp-eyed," the " bright," •* the terrific wife of Ares, 
regaled with human victims ^. United, the two comprise in 
Athena that nature which presents to the soul the altemative 
offered to Gyges by the wife of Gandaules^^ whose unveiled 
beauty causes alarm or madness, and cost Tireeias his sight^S 
but gave supernatural acuteness to the eyes of Diomed^^; in 
arms she represents its terror and its strife^*; her spinning ^^ is 
the peaceM texture or succession of physical events '^ and her 
wound, like that of Adonis, is the emblem of Natures tempo- 
rary decay^*. It was in this, her cosmical or universal charao- 
ter, that she piped to the Pyrrhic dance of the Dioscuri ^^, and 
by the sun became mother of the Oorybantes^'. In the Ho- 
meric scale she is daughter, not wife, of Zeus; but in old 
Ionian theogony she appears to have been wife of his equal, 
or superior, the first Pthah, or son of Uranus ^•, thus be- 
coming Mother of the Sun, or of the Ionian Apollo 


* Schol Ariftoph. Lyriflr. 489. Fau. i. 27. 8. MiiUer, KL Sehrift. u. 140. 
' Married to Hennefl, Hdt " Hene'* it only a reduplication of Pandroeoe; PoUax, 

Onom. Yiii 9. Accoidiog to Akman, (Frag. 47,) ihe was daughter of Zeus aad 

* Athene ";|i»Jf^»w," Fana. a 24«. • MUUer, ib. 140. 147. 
^ Herod, i. 11. " Gallim. Hymn. 546. 589. '* Hiad, y. 127. 
" Ai •* Bria," Odysi. ui 180. 

** Ai " «er«»if,'* or Ilithya, the Wearer of Deetiny. 

* OmuL. 8. il 520, 521. The power who in Natuze reaembles the doneatie 
pUer of the diitaff by the hearth, Odyn. ri. 805, but wheie diataff ia the axis of 
column of the world ; Aratua, 22. Flato, Fhttdnu^ 247. Creuz. S. iL p. 188 ; a, 
mythical reproduction of Hetia or Thenia. Lennep. to Hee. Theog. 928. 

" Pa«e.TiiL28. 

" Aa ''Athene-Ana," Fana. iu. 24. 5. Oiwz. lii 812.882. Bchol. Find. Fyth. H. 
127. Lndan, Hemat L p. 226. Frocl. in Cratyi Boiti. 118. 

* "Sons of the Bun," Btiabe, z. 472; elsewheie sons of Cybela, Diod. S. iii 65. 
** GSceio, N. I), iit. 22. Oreua. p. 599. Symb. iii. 815. Flato, Buthydem. 458, 

(802,) prdbaUy aa clncf «f the Lemniaa Cabin. Herod. 1 57. 
« ApoUod. iii 14. 6. 6choL ApoUon. ii 1249. dm. Alex. Frotr. p. 24. Pott, 

Q S 


The idea of her being bom from the head of Zeus was pro- 
bably a relic of pantheism, and of the ancient physical con- 
ception '^ so far justly estimated by philosophical interpreters, 
representing her as that clear and invigorating ether, the tme 
sister of the fire-element ''y sublimed firom terrestrial evapora- 
tion"; the subtle material of the luminaries of the sky**; the 
female and superior heaven imagined by the Egyptians **, from 
whence, rather than from her supposed Neptunian origin**, she 
derived those azure eyes of the "Glaukopis" of the Troad*', 
which "fearfully glared" on her chosen heroes **• She was 
celestial fire as opposed to terrestrial (Hephsestus), personified 
by the theogonist as the similarly independent birth of Here**; 
she alone knew the keys of the thunderbolt**, and might her- 
self be compared to the aegis which she brandished in her flight 
through space *S the true ethereal shield which bore the Gor- 
goir's head. 

If among her relations was still included that of earth, it 
was not ^: cavernous ground beneath the Acropolis, but the 

MuUer, Eleiitl Schrift. ii. 236, admitting the analogy of Athena to the Egyp- 
tian Neith insisted on by Creuzer, particularly in the celebrated inscription at Sua, 
" The fruit which I bore is the Sun," contends that other points of approximation, 
such as the Goddess riding on the crocodile at Athens, and the " Atheno-Saitis" oi 
Aigos, were subsequent to the theory of the Saitic colonisation of Athens pro- 
pounded by Theopompns, or Anaximenes, in the Tricaranos. 

•> Miiller, El. Schrift. p. 224. Welcker, Tril. 278. Lyd. de Meni. iii. 24, p. 
120. Macrob. Sat. iii. 4, p. 422. 

•^ FUto, Critias, 109. Frotag. 821. 

" Diog. Laert. vii. 145; ix. 9, 10. Stob». Eel. Fhys. toI. i. p. 510. 524. Flat, 
de placit Fhil. ii. 17. Lucan. i. 415. 

** Earsten's Zenophanes, p. 161. 165. Hence Minerva Alea at Tegeal Herod. L 
66. Hesych. S. V. Odyss. xviL 23. Mttller, U. S. 177. 255. 

" HorapoUo, i. ch. 12. Creuaer, 8. ii. 277; iii. 887. 

•• Faus. i 14. •» MttUer, ib. 210. 225. 

" Iliad, i. 200. The " tfitfut m0t^ mumfutrof fut^/tm^msf tt Mvymtf.** Aristoph. 
Clouds, 286. — ** JSBthereum verticem et summitatem ejus." — Amob. in Gent. iiL 81. 
Euseb. Fr. Et. iii. 8, as applied to the moon. Comp. Hemsterhuis to Lndan, voL i. 
p. 226. Lydus, de Mensibus, p. 66, r. 168. Lyd. de Mensib. iii. 80, p. 126. 168. 

"* Theog. 925. •• Mtchjl Eum. 758. Serr. to iBn. zl 259. 

*■ Eumen. 862,>-the "noX^n jii)r«2«f "—the "hollow round of Cynthia's seat;^ 
perhaps, the concaye hemisphere of Ion's cradle. Eurip. Ion, 19. 

ATHENE. 229 

Olympian G«a mentioned by Plutarch'*, whose temple stood by 
the grave of the Amazon Hippolyte", "Hestia seated in 
^ther/'" the pure earth in the pure heaven of Plato**; or else 
she was the moon**, '* Selene," daughter of Pallas and, accord- 
ing to Alcman, mother of Herse, whom the Thessalian women, 
adoring a Minerva Budea^, attempted by their invocations to 
unsphere**; in this sense preserving her intimate connection 
with Artemis, and blending with her personified attributes as 
Aglauros, !£thra, Maira, Auge'*, &c., signifying the " golden" 
or the " bright" There was a seeming inconsistency when, in 
the spirit of the old dogma which ascribed the origin of all 
things to water ^^, the parentage of Athena, like that of Hera*^' > 
was referred to Poseidon"*, creator of the horse as of the ship 
the winged horse of the waters'®', who once reigned alone over 
the swamps of Attica, thence called Poseidonia''*^ as Boeotia 
was Ogygia'^'; an hypothesis which, rather than the fanciful 
notion of Plutarch"*, may have been the reason why Phidias 
placed the dragon symbol at the feet of the statue in the Par- 
thenon*^, just as Venus, Cupid, and Apollo "', with Arion, 

•• Vit Tlica. ch. 26. Pau». i 18. 7. 

*> An angiy ArtemiB, or antithetical Here w;^!*. 

•• Burip. Frag. u. 8. •* Phsedo, Wytt. 84. 

** Amob. in Gent iii. 81. Horn. H. Merc 100. Hence said to have been called 
•* Tritogeneia," irt ^ tutrn t^n ry nXtifi/ h 3i nXnni aw» ^wtiw r^irmta ftunrtu. 
Tsetses to Lyoophr. 519. Scbol. II. yiii. 89; and, perhaps, also ''Ange/' "Hel- 
lotis," &C. Comp. on Tritogeneia MuUer, ib. 188, 189. Poiphyr. ap. Soseb. Fr. 
By. iii 11. Infr.n. 121. 

" Steph. Bys. ad yoc. ** Flutarch de Defisct. Orac. ch. 18. 

• MuUer, ib. 167. 177. »• Iliad, xir. 201. >•» Fans, yiil 87. 

^ The second Minerva of Cicero, " orte Nilo;" N. D. iiL 23. Herod, iy. 180. 
Pans. i. 14. 

« Find. 01. ix. 85. ••* Stiabo, ix. 897. Soph. (Bd. Colon. 718. 

i« Strabo, ix. 407. (428 Teh.) in Bceotia. Alalcomene was daughter of the water- 
man Ogyges. Paus. ix. 83, 4. MtOler, Oichom. 122. 349. 

»•• De Isid. ch. 75. 

*** Fans. i. 24, where a sacred serpent was fed on honey. Aristoph. Lysistr. y. 
758. Payne Knight, Anct Art, 25. Creus. S. iii. 840. Athena is herself styled 
" l^utfar Orph. H. 81. 

*** Hymn ApoUo, y. 400. Gnigniant, R. ii. 683. 


Pal»mon, &g., are sea-boin powers with dolphins or dragons 
among their symbols ' °*. But the inconsistency is only apparent, 
for eyen light and the heavenly bodies may be said, like Yenns 
Urania, to be children of the waters as well as of heayen ; and, 
having drunk nourishment from their all-generating parent, to 
shed in return their ''sweet influence""^ on man and plant, 
and on all the children of the ground"'; on the earth-bom 
grasshoppers who live upon the dews of heaven, as well as on 
the autochthonous Erectheids whose ancestor was nursed by 
Pandrosos. Uranus gave birth to a goddess, who rising out of 
the sea-foam as Aphrodite, the Acidalian mother of the Cha- 
rites"', became the universal source of life and generation"', and 
might be called either Urania or Eurynome"^ Meetis, Clymene, 
or Idyia, in short all the Oceanides in one. She was wife of 
Prometheus, the Asian goddess (Athene Asia, or Hesione) 
brought by the Dioscuri from Colchis to Laconia"'; Bodeia, the 
Minerva of lindus worshipped by the Danaides"*; Perseis or 
Idyia marded to the sun, and as Dione or Maetis to Zeus"^. 
The idea of Nature, or of a personification of Nature, bom out 
of the waters under the form of one of its natural products, as 
a fish or lotus flower, afterwards gradually assuming more and 
more of human shape, may be traced from India through 
Assyria and Syria to Greece, and left remarkable traces of its 
passage among the Scythian and Amazonian population of the 
shores of the Euxine and Meeotis"'. The first wife of Zeus, 
called Thetis or Maetis"*, "the first great ancestor" of the 

"* Comp. Hymn Apollo. Bothe. t. 123. Athenian ciadlss wen henoe oma- 
mented with serpents. Eniip. Ion. 25. Mliller, El. SchrifL ii p. 16S. 

II* "oo^fM ax**»" Soph. (Ed. Colon. 681. Hence the notion of <'dew-droppiog 
•Ian" — "rofldda lana/' the fountain of Selene, the moon drinking from the ran, Ike. 

"' Hence the yoong of animals are called "ifrM"and "2p4€»i." Mailer. KL 
Schnft. ii. 228. 

»" Mailer, Orchora. 175. "» "im xcf^^n* Ap^»iini»r 

>•* Theog. 851. 857. »07. »» Pans. iU. 16. 6.; xjav. 5. 

*^ Herod, ii. 182. Apollod. ii. 1. 4. and 5. 

«" Apollod. i. 3. 1. "• Eitter, Vorhalle, p. 62. 

*'* " irkusTtt fiutt uiytar Theog. 887. 


Orphioi^'^ from whom emanated the azure-eyed Tiitogeneia of 
the Theogony^'S was daughter of the BoryBthenes; mother of 
the Scythians and of the Euxine^^'; she was Apia also and 
Gflea'^^ identical with the Attic mother of those children of 
Soreas who hanished the Harpies, and ruled over the waters of 
the Mgean before the Argonauts ^'^. We may notice but can- 
not pursue the complicated links of connection between the 
goddess of the Budini and Oeloni^^', the Bhea of the Fhasis or 
the Propontis^^, and the Thessalian Thetis or Budea, the 
Venus Erycina who rescued Butes from the sea^^^ the daughter 
of Pallas ^'^ married to Dardanus, the Alalcomeneis descended 
from the water god Ogyges, whose worship retired to the upper 
country before the inundations of the Copais"^ and the better 
known divinity of the Erectheum, associated with Poseidon and 
eerved there by the hereditary descendants of Buto''\ If 
Poseidon be understood in the ancient sense as the god of 
moisture, life, and nourishment, who brings forth the produc- 
tions of the ground ''\ Athena might be either his daughter, 
his wife"', or his parent"', sharing his symbols and his temple; 
but she repels his advances in proportion as he becomes god of 
the unfixdtful sea, patron of tiie storm, of inundation, and of 
winter; she is then the dry land rising victorious from the 

*• " w^r§t ytnrif^." Prag. vi 19. 

■*> i. e. Daughter of the lea-god Triton; "Ut^f hn" Herod. W. 179. Hei. 
Theog. 988. The fitbnlous la)ce and river Triton, affording to the Aigonants an 
egreu from Ooeanns (Uckert, toI. i. pt 2, p. 822. ApolL £h. iv. 1552), is akin 
probably to Ooeanue himself. Paufl. iz. 88. 5. 

>" Herod. iT. 5. 86. StepL Byz. p. 436, n. 22. Enatath. to Dionys. P. t. 168. 
Bitter, Yorhalle, 165. 409. 

»» Herod. It. 69. Eitter, ib. 174. 177. "* Phcrecyd. Frag. xx. p. 114. 

^^ A nation of Hellenic origin, Herod, iy. 108. 

»* Herod. It. 76. Orph. Aigon. 547. 

><* Apollon. Bh. iy. 917. Piod. iy. 196. 

"• "N«ii;" Theog. 888; or ChryBe-Myrrhina. 

i» M'dUer, Orchom. 122. 208. ^^ The Bteobutadss. Pans. i. 26. 6. 

'** " r^0pn9 ir«rr«mv i» ms ynt »fmith»t'" Plat. GritiaSi 118. 

■" t. 0. aa Tritogeneia, mother by Poseidon of Minyas and the Argonauts ; Tsets. 
Lyeophr. 874 ; or as Venus Erycina, wife of Butes. Diod. iy. 196. 

■^ e. g. o( Poseidon-Erechtheus. 


waters as Astarte or Venus Urania, the gaardian genius of the 
dangerous promontory"*, or the sea-bird"* seen from the cliffs 
of Megara to sport on the dry places by the waters, and to fly 
before the storm. She owns, too, the bird whose eyes pierce 
the gloom of night^*^, and her symbols of the ram and olive 
are the bright season succeeding to the dark ; the latter espe- 
cially, which, nursed in warmth and drought, antithetical to the 
Neptunian horse "^, corresponds with the Dove emblem of her 
Asiatic antitypes, and belongs to her as Hygea or Soteira^'% 
authoress of hope, of healing, and of peace"'. Though in 
this way comprising in herself the two factors of nature, love 
and strife, her conventional or virgin character drove the former 
attribute into the shade, or neutralised by blending it with the 
other. The *' /^nvig" following, as with the irritated Ceres, so 
closely on the amour, seemed to alter its import, and the curious 
story of the wooing of Hephsstus and the ambiguous mater- 
nity, as also that in which the mortal Creusa*** by Apollo 
becomes mother of Ion in a cavern beneath the Acropolis, are 
probably but attempts to reconcile the ancient character of the 
goddess with the new. Greater prominence was thus given to 
the martial attribute, and the same partiality may be seen in the 
usual conception of the palladium, which uniting the spear with 
the phallus, the emblems of generation and destruction, seemed 
in its effects to be rather a present of At6 commemorating the 
war of Troy or of the giants, than a pledge of the genial 
alliances of gods, or the marriage gift of Chryse to Dardanus"'. 

"* As at Cnidas, Eolias, or the Scironian cli£b. Pans. i. 44. 12. Herod. TiiL 94. 

'* M. falica, or *' msivM," the coot or diyer. Viig. Oeoi^. i. 368. Odyu. L 
820; iii. 872. Paiu. L 6. 3; zli. 6. Steph. Byz. finiUm. Cieoz. 8. iii. 816. 889. 
Artemidori Oneiro, ii. 17. Miiller, Kl. Schrift. it 188. 

13* The owL Creus. S. iii. 839. Gomp. Leiit, zL 17. The bird of darkness, 
Ascalaphns. Babo, " noctomus," " funereas," ** profiums." — Ovid. 

*^ Herod, viii. 55. 

*" Paus. L 28. 5 ; viiL 44. Platarch, PericL 18. 

>» Schol. Aristoph. Plut. 1054. 

1^ t. €, Gsea. Schol. Plut Buthydem. p. 802. Eurip. Ion, 11. 

*«* MUller, El. Schrift. ii. 208. Dion. HaL i. 68. SchoL Iliad, tL 92. SchoL 
Aristid. Panath. p. 820, Dind. 

ATHENE. 239 

The moral attributes of Athena were naturally developed out of 
the physical. She became the ''Metis" or p^ovno'ii of Zeus^^, 
the celestial wisdom so often associated with the symbols of 
light and day, and as demiurgic intelligence was inyentress of 
arts***, such as spinning'**, modelling***, shipbuilding***, of all 
arts seeming to claim a celestial origin and to require ingenuity, 
which distinguished her favourite city; preserving, however, in 
all the original diversities of her physical character, being now 
as " Soteira,'* producer of the oUve, associated with fire**^, and 
now patroness of the horse and of horsemanship***, connected 
with Poseidon at Colonos ***. As inventress of the plough, presid- 
ing over the agricultural solemnities of Sciron oi the Bharian 
plain***, her aspect undergoes the analogous change connecting 
it in so many ways with Demeter ; she is then the subtelluric 
power confederate with Hades at Coronea***, with Trophonius**' 
at Lebadea, or Hermes-Erichthonius at Athens, who buries for a 
time the treasures of Ulysses**', the dark Ceres of Fhigalia*** 
with symbols compounded from brightness and gloom***, re- 
quiring the interposition of Zeus to induce her to come forth 
from her conceahnent*** to restore fertiUty to the earth. Under 

*^ Tietses, Lye. 869. 

*«* Minerya " Bigane." Pam. L 24. 8 ; ix. 26. Hei. Works, 480. Heiych. id. t. 

'^ i. 0. u Clotho or Ilithya. Comp. aaigniaut, KeL iii 806, 807. Pani. Tii 
5,9. Uiad, ▼ui. 886. Odyai. xz. 72. Ot. Futi, iiL 819. 

*^ Odyaa. tL 288 ; zziii. 159 ; e. g, the Trojan hone, Odju. Tiii 498, a conni- 
Gil emblem. 

'^ In particnlar the Aigo or Coimoi. SchoL Axat Phosn. 848. Iliad, t. 61 ; 
XT. 412. Orph. Aig. 67. 

**' HephsBstos in the Academy. '* Hippia, or Hippeia. 

^ Pans. i. 80. 4. "* Plat Prsoc. Conjng. p. 426. 

*** M. Itonia, or Sitonia. MOller, t. b. 192. Strabo, ix. 411. Creus. S. iii 
874,876. Aristid. m Min. 

>•* Hermet Cthonius, Cic. N. D. iii. 22. 

^ Odyat. xiiL 866 ; " Beneath a stone." It aeems that the treararies and gra* 
oariea of the ancienU were aabterranean Tanlts, doied by a atone. Milller, Orchom. 
p. 289. 
' *•« M. Melaina. ^ Herod, iv. 180. Pana. viiL 28 and 42. 

^ Bniaged at the ponoit of Poaeidon, who alao aedacea Athra and Medusa 
(A. Qorgopia) in the temple of Athene. Muller, KL Schrift. ii. 172. 


this aspect she is allied to Persephone, to Geres, mother of 
Erichthonins and wife of Hermes Cthonius, or Hepbeestus ^". 
The fierce Diomed bore Athene in his chariot, and carried off 
the Palladium, as Hades did the person of Persephone, yet he 
receired fix>m the goddess that immortality of which, in hia 
hands, she herself seemed to be deprived ''^ then assuming an 
aspect aldn to that of Oorgo, or of the Pallas or lodama whom 
she slew. As her attributes became exalted, and partook more 
and more of the moral change of which the Olympian powers 
were more readily susceptible than personifications less dis-. 
guised, she seemed to become separated firom inferior alliances, 
and as daughter of Zeus or of ^ther, to bestow not the mere 
breath of life'*', but that clear air which, spread through the 
mild sky of Attica, '* trained its sons to wisdoms noblest 
lore."^*^ It was enough that Isis should suckle the children of 
the king of Byblus, and Demeter could accept no more than 
the office of nurse in the family of Eeleos ; so Athene, a wife 
in the older legend, in the heroic or improyed version, is only 
the vestal nourisher of Erechtheus, or of the child of Hercules, 
and Gffia, or Atthis, Danae or Auge, is substituted for her as 
parent *'\ The same substitution pervades the whole extent of 
the Attic genealogies; the birth of the sun is transferred to 
Greusa, visited by Apollo under the Acropolis"*; and Pandion, 
son of the first Erechtheus by '' Pasithea," *'' becomes father of 
another Erechtheus by Zeuxippe**^, his mother's sister; and 
being himself identical with Zeus, as Erechtheus with Erich- 

*•* Fropert iw. 4. 45. Ovid, Trist iii. 1. 29. Lucan. I 692. Paui. ix. 84. 1. 

'* At Danae, H. Ghalciaeca impritoned by Acriaius. Penem ii brought i^ 
by Polydectes (Hades) at Seriphoi, in Minerra'f temple. HUller, a. b. 171 n. 
Gomp. 180. 

^ A. Anemotis. PauB. ii. 23. 1. LncSan, Prom. 8. 

i« Borip. Med. 825. Plat. Tims. 24 o. 

>*i Hyg. P. A. il 13. Iliad, ii. 547. "The Barth-bom," and therafbre h^P9t. 
Comp. Herod. L 78 ; yiii. 85. Apollod. iii. 4. 16. 

^ Comp. Athene, " mpr^amiT^s." Orph. H. 31. 

>«* OoddeM of aU, Pandia, Horn. Hymn, 32 ; the bride of aleep. Iliad, »▼. 276. 

*** Minenra Hippia. 


thonins^ is both fisither^ son^ and husband of Athene, in whose 
temple he is buried. Yet the exaltation of the character of 
Adiene, through which she eventually became the divine w^woia 
or ffovvio'ig, however intimately connected with a physical notion, 
was but a development of the spiritualism which had always 
been a latent element of her nature, a germ of which has a 
place in every religion; the wider physical supremacy which 
she once possessed as a cosmical power being ultimately trans* 
ferred to Zeus, who though perhaps less ancient and prominent 
as a personified conception, and strictly speaking not entitled 
to be called '* ancestral" at Athens ^^, had nevertheless a 
mythical as well as metaphysical claim to be esteemed that 
great parent and sovereign ^'^ from whom Athene and Hephaes- 
tus derived their consanguinity^^* 

§ 18. 



The relative attributes of the subordinate Olympian powers 
are thus dramatic reflections of their physical characters mo- 
rally developed ; each was once an independent physical deity, 
and the universality and omnipotence which the individualising 
and humanising process caused to be thrown back on a mys* 
terious " AaiAMvr," or '^ Destiny," once belonged to themselves, 
and to each of them as local gods. But when the divine func- 
tions, thus dramatically dispersed, came to be comprised in one 
system, analogy required that the moral principle of govern- 
ment should replace that of monotheism ; and that the various 
personifications should be made subordinate to a chiefs The 

^ "Pfttroos.** Pkto, Euthydamnt. Hein. 802. Ponon, ad Eorip. Med. 1814. 

'" SiMohdm, ad Aiiitoph. Plut 1095. jBsehyL Pen. 505. Agam. 827. 
Gnigniaat'c Crons. iL p. 556. 568. 

»•» Critiai, 109. 

' Arittot. Polit i. 1, end. The saying, " the government of many ib not good/' 
appropriate to the haroic age, continiied to be ao in the tame of Homer. Iliad, 


name of Zeus, Deus, or God> derived firom the Sanscrit 
word for Day, or Light', was used as an appellative for 
many of the local gods of Greece, such as the Zeus of Dodona, 
the Zeus Acrius, and Lycaeus of Arcadia, the Laphystian, and 
also many foreign deities analogically rendered hy the same 
Greek equivalent. The object of Pelasgian worship seems to 
have been the mysterious and equivocal god of Pantheism, in- 
cluding the contrasts of light and darkness, life and death, 

all the aspects of external nature more or less united, though 
always tending towards specialty through the prevalence of a 
peculiar mode of viewing them. The being so conceived 
would seem to have been virtually the triune or triophthalmio 
power of symbohsm', supreme in heaven, earth, and heU, at 
once Uranus, Poseidon, and Hades ^. His worship was not 
that of iBther or Earth exclusively, still less of any of the 
humanised conceptions of poetry, but of universal nature, com- 
prehending in its sole divinity what Herodotus calls the various 
*' nameless gods," ' or, in plainer language, the as yet unper- 
sonified names of its constituent *' vo/mi," or parts ^. The first 
personification of the Universal Being seems to have been con- 

' Diespiter, LuoetiuB ; for Zens is Diet : " sub Dio " and " sub Joto " are eqniyalents. 
Lassen, Ind. Antiq. i p. 755. " To those who really understand the word Zens/' 
says a Scholiast (Tsetses to Lycophr. 1194), "it will not appear strange that he 
should have many birthplaces, as Crete, Arcadia, Thebes," &c. 

* Paus. u. 2. and 24 ; viii. 46. 2. MiiUer, Dor. L 68. Creus. S. iit 195. 
"T^t»%paX^ %* i a»Tf (« *£^«if), its w^auHt ^»^ttr^tft t^iyut" Tsetses to 
Lycophr. 680. 

* Comp. Fans. iL 24. Aschyl. Supplices, Wellaaer, 147. SophocL CBdipns 
Tyr. 908 ; Colonse. 1606. Iliad, iz. 457. Zeus Uranus, Zeus Enalins, and Zens 
<'«AX«f/' " Kmr»x^****t" or "nx«tfri«f." Comp. Hes. Works, 416. ProcL in 
Timse. ii. p. 95. Creuz. S. L 44. Pans. iiL 19. 7. Bckeraum, Lehrbuch der BeL 
i 41, distinguishes Cronus and Zeus as non-physical powers from Uranus and G«a; 
but all that we are justified in assuming is, that the former have a more distinct 
dramatic personality than the latter.- 

■ ii. 52. 

' Comp. ^schyl. 82. 287. Hes. Th. 885. " Isodaites,*' Plutarch, De ei. 
Pelph. 9. 


turrent "with the assigning to him a distinction of sex, and a 
parental relation to mankind. The Scythians, according to 
Herodotus, entertained a dualism or " sacred marriage " of 
Zeus ^* Tcairaio^*' (father) and Geea^ similar to that reported 
to have heen sung hy the Pleiades of Dodona, and the early 
Hierophants of Greece'; Gcea heing probably correlative to 
Metis, Maia, or Hestia, the Scythian goddess mother already 
spoken of*, the daughter of the Borysthenes and mother of the 
Pontus^*, who may through this channel have derived her title 
to be first wife of Zeus in Greek Theogony "• A further sub- 
division of the general notion was effected by the separation 
and revolutions of tribes spoken of by Thucydides, through 
which the many forms of the deity ceased to be *' nameless," 
and began to assume the peculiarities which determined their 
relative places in mythology ''. The causes of this separation, 
said by a Scholiast^' to have been first made by the priests of 
Mecone in Peloponnesus, existed wherever the feeling of the 
multitudinous aspects of the one God tended to give ritualic 
establishment to as many names of him, or wherever peculiar 
forms of worship gave him a distinct local individuality. Gene- 
rally speaking, a race bordering on the sea may be imagined to 
have worshipped a Poseidon, a Zeus Pelorus, or Sthenius ^^ 
while inland tribes sacrificed to' a Faunus^', lasus or Piasus^', 

* Herod, ir. 59. 

* Paul. z. 12. 5. Pherecyd. Stun. p. 40. Orph. Frag. 86. Pint, de Pladt. 
L 6. 11. Creaxer, Sym. iii. 191. 

' " Urn. ym** Aacbyl. SnppL 897. Steph. Byz. p. 447, Ma being a name of 
Shea. "Tmm fum^^'R^mf h «i r^^M/' &c. Enrip. Frag. Inc. 178. Herod. !▼. 86; 
tiii. 65. Mahte, mother, a Lettiah epithet of the earth. Bitter's Vorhalle, 151. 
161. Qrimm't Mythol. 20. Bustath. to Dionyi. p. 168. Steph. Byi. 486. Hom. 
Hymn. Mero. y. 57. Crens. Symb. ii. 466. 

*• Herod, iv. 52, 58. 86. " Hes. Th. 858. 

1* Oomp. Hermann and Crenzer, Briefe, p. 100, at the end. 

" ViUoii. to Iliad, XT. 18. 

** Crens. 8. iii 194, n. Herod. TiL 129. Pans. ii. 82. 7 ; xzziv. 5. 

^' Orid, ¥uL y. 99. The Italian tribes were allied in creed as well as langnage 
to the Gkeeks, and the common bases of their dirergent ideas may be assomed to 
h*Te been the original ones. If Uller, Klmne Scfarifken, ii. 50. 

M Strabo, z. 621. 


Eriohthonius ", or Hermes-Pan. Pan, the foster-broiher ob 
equivalent ^' of Zens Lyceeus, protected the flooks of the Arca- 
dian mountaineer; and the oak became the oracle of Zeus 
** GhaoniuB^^ owing to its usefidness in supporting the life of 
the aborigines *^, For though it be impossible to suppose that 
the gods either of Greece or of Egypt were ever completely 
transformed, in the minds, that is, of their worshippers, into 
trees or animals, or to assent to the unfair distribution of Bot- 
tiger, who makes the oak or olive tree of the ancient Pelasgi a 
mere brutal fetichlsm in contrast with the astral symbolism of 
Asia*^ ; yet there was always a fetiohistic imagery, in intelligible 
relation to the local circumstances of the god, which continued 
to grace his temples and accompany his processions. 

life came from above or from below ; it was either in the 
warmth and rains of heaven, or rose with the tree or fountain 
out of the ground. There was therefore a supernal and a 
Cthonian Zeus; the initial conception of the ''sthereal," 
*' high-thundering," or " pluvial " power of Homer, the Zeus 
Geraunius on Ida'^ the fulgural god of Etruria, the Thor or 
Taranis menaced by the arrows of the Thracians ** ; and there 
was the telluric power worshipped under the oaks of Dodona by 
the Selli, as in the forests of the Celts ^, the giver of wealth and 
food from below '^. The deity worshipped on the shores of the 
Egean as ^geon or Poseidon ^, seems in the west of Greece, 
in Thesprotia and Pylus, to be rather a mingled conception of 

>' niAd, u. 547. '" Gamp. ^acbyL Agun. 55. 

^ Eupbarion in Stephanos, 715. 

** Yiig. Geoig. L 8. Sil. ItaL iii. 69. Flntaicli, de Emu Cam. i. 993. Yit 
Coriol. 8. Suitat to Od. xiL 857. Crenz. iii. 188, 184. ««>«f from fay^- 
'*mymXfim Ltt KtXrtMtv i^l^tiXn l^uf" Mas. Tyr. viii. 8, p. 142. 

*^ Ideen. iL 22, Ac Arictoph. Aves, 467. EmtoBthenia Gatatt zxz. p. 24, 

** niad, Till. 48. 75. 170; xiL 25; xy. 879; xril 595. JEacbyL Frag. Didot 169. 

** Herod, ir. 94. Giimm*8 Myth. 158. 

'« Csetar, B. iz. 6. 18. Hei. Fragm. 54, p. 216. Gottl. Iliad, xti. 288. 

'* Dii, i. e. Divea, Plntoa, Opt, Midas, or Hermes JU^)««f, Jasion, Zivf ^ktufug. 
Pans. iii. 19. 7 ; x. 12. 5. Diod. S. ▼. 77. 

* Scbol. Apollon. L 831. Eostatb. to Iliad, l 404. 


the sea god with Hades or Periclymenus^^ the distribution 
being attributable either to the accidentally sombre character of 
local superstitions, or to the mythic idea of the west, both in 
Greece and Italy, being, like the Atlantean realm of Cronus, 
the dwelling-place of the Cthonian God *', the portal of the 
lower world, the receptacle of the past, and storehouse of the 

The creations of polytheism were results of a process not 
merely of severance but of combination ; of severance in regard 
to the (Higinal unity of idea, but of combination, inasmuch as 
each separated personification tended to absorb and inclose a 
variety of analogous symbols. And as the original Dione* 
Proserpine, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, differed from the 
fish or wave-bom Astarte-Aphrodite of the east, so the Pelas- 
gian water-god was not the Libyan or Phoenician Poseidon, the 
power nursed by the Telchines, and appointed to his ofSce by 
Cronus '^ but Zeus himself in another form, the " Poseidon " 
who became allied with Here or Demeter-Erinnys in Ar- 
cadia**, or as Erichtheus with Athene-Polias at Athens'*, the 
source of generation and fertility*', father or nursling of 
the water-nymphs, whether descending in golden rain from 
heaven, or springing upwards from the lake or fountain 


* Pofeidon and Pinto were nearly related, and the hone was a lymbol eommon 
to both. Both are included in the name Clymenni. Cr^nz. B. !▼. 2S9. Laraa in 
Athencu, z. 170. Pana. ii. S5. 5. The entmnce to the usder world was beneath 
the at», where the tun links in the eyening, and where Flnto carried off Proserpine 
with his immortal horses. (Hymn to Ceres, 88). Hence Poseidon is said to close the 
doors of Hades (Hes. Theog. 782). 

* Bxemplifiedin Bchetns, "man-destroyer," Odyis. zriiL 85. 116; or Dus Her* 
marides, king of the Thesprotian poison-land. 

* Gomp. the lUyrian graTo of Cadmus, the Sicilian death of Minos, the Hes- 
•enian defeat of the Thradan Thamyris, && Iliad, ii 599. Yirg. Georg. iii. 498. 

•• Died. 8. V. 56. 69. « Pans. viii. 25. 4. 

« Mailer, Eleine Schrift. ii. 142. Pans. i. 26. Plutarch, Vit Lycuig. 
» "0»r«x^M#f," "yiHr«##,- "w«f." ApoUon. Bh. 2, 8. Pans. ii. 82. 8; 
zzrviii. 4. Creus. Symb. iii 78. 82. Yolcker, Japetus, 168. 
« Yolcker, ib. 87. 90. 


This benefioent or ^^Mendly" Zeus^^ manifested to the 
aboriginal Greeks in the fertilizing stream of that river of 
rivers, the Achelous in Thesprotia'*^ appeared to have been 
oshered into the world as a new progeny of the Supreme Being 
at Thebes '^, where, under the name of Dionysus, he added the 
produce of the vintage to the '^Acheloian cup;" while the 
Molochistic wolf-god, or Zeus Lyceeus " of the Arcadian Pe- 
lasgi, was changed into the legendary adversary of a milder or 
purer deity, and his antique symbolism became to after ages a 
warning example of the punishment of cruelty in the fate of 
the sanguinary Lycaon. Distinct notions thus became poeti- 
cally distinct persons, and the connection of the derivative idea 
with its source was intimated by the symbols of fraternity or 
parentage, so that subordinate personifications were from a real 
psychological relationship accounted sons or brothers of Zeus, 
and Zeus himself, with Pan and Hermes, became children of 
that Heaven or JBther which had in fact been a part or mani* 
festation of their former selves ^. 



In his earliest history Zeus seems to retain his name only 
while his nature is fluctuating and obscure. He retires before 
the multitude of personifications, reappearing only in his 
specific or Olympian character to fill up an occasional blank 
left by some intermediate process of transformation. This pro- 
cess was that already alluded to, consisting of local or con- 
ceptional analysis, and of poetic assimilation. When the place 
of a Universal Being was occupied by special personifications, 

» Zivt "^iJatt." Pan*, viii. 81. 2. 

** Artemidor. Oneiro, iii. 48. Hei. Theog. 840. Eur. Bacchs, 512. 615. 
^ Lycophr. Caanndra, 1194. Clem. Alex. Protr. 12. 

** Elsewhere paralleled by Apollo " x»»nytnn,*' or Lycui^g;as, the sun under the 
ngn of the wolf. 
* Oic N. D. iii. 21. 


it was inevitable that as every system of artificial combination 
must be limited^ and as there could be but one Zeus, Posei- 
don, or Pluto, many aspects and local titles should either be 
confounded among lower gods, or sink into the condition of 
heroes^. For mythology, which realises conceptions as facts, 
realises them on earth as well as on Olympus ; giving them the 
forms of history as well as those of theology. All nations 
claimed Ood for their champion and father ; and to make good 
this presumption they more frequently changed gods into men 
than men into gods. That inversion of view which in Greece 
had assumed a systematic inveteracy in its coarsest personify*- 
ing form, was often enabled to rescue an obsolete deity from 
oblivion under the name of a hero, and as the most ancient 
coins bore the stamp not of a human monarch but of a god', 
so tribal deities served to mark national distinctions, and may 
be used as a sort of heraldry in the marshalling of traditions'. 
The gods Helios and Poseidon share between them the genea- 
logies of the iBolians. Ceyx, son of Lucifer, the "Burn- 
ing,"* married Alcyone, the sea-bird, and they respectively 
assumed the names of Zeus and Hera'. The marriage of 
Pyrrha and Deucalion has been supposed to mean an alliance 
of fire and water' ; the misfortunes of Athamas are the tale^ of 
the dry and the rainy season, ^olus, whose name would seem 
to imply the "varied" god, is now son of Poseidon, now of 
Hellen or Zeus ; and though the Homeric Buler of the winds' 

' In angeblichen Heroennamen gar nicht lelten locale Beiiuunen Ton Gotten 
«tecken. MuUer, Eletiie Scbrift. ii. 89. 

* Payne Knight, Anct Art, s. 14. 

* The Lydian and Garian Zena eanied the battle-axe ; the PeIopid» the Geigen. 
SchoL Find. 01. i. 87. Gomp. zi. 72. Enrip. Phoemsne, 1188. Iphig. Aal. 857. 
Aachyl. Septem. Bothe, 899. Baehr to Herod, t. 66. p. 118. Orenier, Briefer 
104. 106^ 

• * FromjMMv) He waa called king of Tnuihia, or Thnoe (Het. Sent GdttL 855), 

probably as the Thracian Ares. 

* Semns to Yirg. Georg. L 899. Apollod. i. 7. 

* y5lcker,Japetas, 842. 

7 Aolns Hippotades, t. «. son of Poseidon Hippins. Serr. to An. I 52. Comp. 
Hygin. fitb. 125. Or of Zens, Diod. S. It. 67. 

VOL. I. R 


may be still more diverse from the national patriarch than from 
the gods of Olympus*, yet the comparison made between them 
by later writers may be better founded than Mtiller allows", 
since in the distribution of the elemental world among the 
gods of poetry the winds alone were left without a specific 
president, and iSolus, girt with his wall of brass (the moenia 
mundi),^^ might not unfairly be recognised as a cosmical 
being, as representative of the year and father of the twelve 
months". Again, Aloeus, the grandson of ^olus, difiers but 
little from him in name or nature. The many interpretations 
of which his name is susceptible" suit the physical ambiguity 
of his character; he is son not only of Poseidon but of 
HeUos"; and it must be presumed that the Aloeus of Coiin- 
thian genealogy obtained his place there through the same 
channel as Sisyphus. The wife of Aloeus becomes mother of 
the Aloidffi, in whom the sun s career is subdivided and op- 
posed**, by besprinkling her bosom with sea-water"; his bro- 
ther JSetes, son of HeUos, is father of Medea-Here, whose ab- 
duction is similar to that of Helena and of lo. As Aloeus is 
Poseidon's son, so the sons of Aloeus ('^ Aloid®") are sons of 
Poseidon. From Xuthus, the " golden light," descend Achseus, 
I. e, the Acheean" worshippers of ^geon-Poseidon; and lonians, 

* Comp. Odyu. x. 2. Nitzsch. ib. 

* Orchomenufl, 2nd Bd. p. 182". 

>* Comp. Hea. Theog. 726. 750. Iliad, y. 750; Tui. 393. Heiod. i. 148; 
"rtixH »»i 4m#c»— fn^ii^yii;'* the sky was called ''brasen," " w^»x»x'*^^»t>*' 
Odjig. ui. 2. 

" Heiaclid. AUeg. Horn. p. 215. Schow. Comp. Odyss. x. 5. ApoHod. u 
7. 8, 4. Simflarity of name may generally be asinmed in mythologyto mean lome 
aort of identity. ** Daaa uberhanpt Helden der Mythischen Welt die von einigen 
Buhm and Thaten nnd, wenn Bic unter einem Namen unter den Tencluedensten nnd 
nnTertraglicbsten Unutanden encbeinen, dennoch meist dieselben sind, dies dzaqgt 
neb jedem Beobacbter au£" Buttmann, If ytbol. ii. 209. 

^' " Man of the sea," " man of tbe tbresbing floor/' or " the Sun." Comp. Scbol. 
Odyss. xi. 237. 258. Muller, Oicbom. 880. Scbwenk's Andentnngen, p. 222. 
Creus. S. iii. 40. 

" Fans. ii. 1. 1. and 6; ii. 8. 8. >« Hyg. &b. 28. 

» Odyss. XL 806. Apollod. I 7. 4. 

" Fromacb, "aqua." 


colleotiyely personified in Ion, husband of the moon, {" Helioe")^ 
the wanderer in the Zodiac, t . q, Hyperion, Amphion, Pandion. 
If Yolker'^ is justified in assiuning that a qualified reliance 
may be placed on genealogies, it will be found that every 
standard deity is attended by an array of satellites connected 
or descended firom him, reflecting his peculiarities and attri- 
butes. Poseidon is repeated in Ogyges, ^geus, Olaucus, 
Nauplius, Hipponous, Halirrhothios, Nestor, Bellerophon, &c. ; 
Hennes in Cadmus, Dardanus, laaion, Erichthonius, Plutus; 
Pluto in Glymenus^', Eurypylus, Polydamas, Polydectes. 
Several of these again are referred back by ancient testimony to 
the supreme object of worship. Cadmus, for instance, some- 
times directly as well as indirectly made identical with 
Hermes ^^ is brother or son-in-law of Zeus'*, wedded Jike him 
to the empress of the shades or of the world '^ the bull-symbol 
teaching arts and letters, establishing the world (Thebes), and 
becoming father of the gods'\ His nuptials were one of the 
most ancient themes of sacred song*'; his destroying the 
dragon of Mars is analogous to the victory of Apollo, of Her- 
cules, or of Zeus over the Titans, dragons being in the opinion 
of the ancient Greeks Titanic or Typhonian'^. There were 
many seemingly distinct personages claiming the name of Zeus. 
There was a son of ^ther, a son of Cronus, and a son of Pro- 
metheus'^; but the son of Prometheus was Deucalion; and 

*^ Mythologie del Japetiiclieii GewUecbtes, 129. 

>• Clymeniis, lor eiample, wai sbun at the feetiTal of Poieidon at Onchettaf. 
PaoB. ix. 87. 2, and oomp. Soidas ad t. Pam. ii. 85. 5. 

** Comp. Gdttling to Het. Th. 987. Tsetxet to Lyoopbr. 162. 219. 222. BchoL 
Apollon. Rh. 917. 

** Thiongli Euiopa and Electra. Comp. Paul. ix. 8. 8. 

« Harmonia-ProMrpina. Comp. Plut. Brot. 28. Pani. ii. 19. 6; iz. 16. 2. 
XQller, El. Schrift iL 88. 

** ft. I. of Calnri. Stiabo, 472. If ttller, u. i. and Orebom. 447. 458. 

** Pam. iz. 12. 8. 
* ** Acuiilai Frag. Stnn. 85. Tbe dragon or lerpent appeared to be a VDn or 
■ymbol of tbe eartb and underworld. Herod. L 78. Yftlcker, Japetni, p. 88. 

» Cic N. B. iii 21. Lydni de Mem. Botb. p. 226. 228. 

B 2 


sinoe it was a common practice to l)lend the dynasties and 
genealogies of gods with those of men**, Deucalion^ the ''fiist 
king of men/'*^ who reigned in Thessaly, may be compared 
with the ancient Zeus of the Thessalian or Thesprotian Do- 
dona^^ whose oracle he founded'^ The same region from 
whence came the notion of a great mother'*, seems to have 
been the channel through which the primary idea of Zeus 
passed into Greece through Thrace and Thessaly. Here may 
be traced the memorials of a many-named and many-featured 
Being, sometimes resembUng Hercules '\ sometimes more akin 
to Dionysus or Poseidon"*, or the oriental symbols of Vishnou, 
Oannes, or Ninus, who, as representing the waters, takes his 
distinguishing emblem from the fish, yet at the same time gives 
assurance of renewed fertility and stability by the pledge of the 
rainbow in the sky, or by the impression of his footstep in the 
soil. Such a being often recurs in the legends of Greece, in 
Buto, Ogyges, Inachus, Danaus, and Erectheus; in Boreas, 
the appropriate kinsman and ally of the Attic man-snake " ; in 
Hercules identified as husband of Echidna, as in many other 
particulars with his father Zeus'* ; and again in Cadmus, who 
slew the dragon, yet afterwards became what he had destroyed. 
The general idea of a god rising and rescuing firom the 
waters", which the contracted view which flouted rather thaii 
consulted antiquity once imagined to have arisen ftom scattered 
xeminiscences of the true history of Noah**, reappears in the 

. * Herod, u. 14i. Livy, Piafl » ApoUon. Bh. iii. 1088. 

* Zeu Acheldas or Fhyziut. 

» Btym. Magn. AtUnmot, GmgniauVs Orenser, ii. 640. 

^ Metis. Comp. Herod, iy. 58. 76. and n. i. 

'1 "iutf iwtf^n* h ri/Sciv H^»A,i«i nvt wt^t t« JUmtmmruf Muvfrmi" Doris, in 
Schol. ApoUon. ii. 1253. 

" The Scythian Poseidon, Thammisadas. Herod, iy. 59. 

w Pans. T. 19. 1 ; viii. 86. 4. 

•• Herod, iv. 9. Diod. S. iL ch. 48, p. 155. 

» Zivf "Miro^m^ut," and "X«w^e" Arrian, Exped. Alex. i. 4 and 11. 
^'<l»iii«f." SchoL ApoIL ii. 1151. 

* Joseph, Antiq. i 8. 5. 


Scythian'^ or Thessalian Patriarch landing from his ark at the 
oak of Dodona or on the summit of the mountains of Greece'^ 
to found the human race. The site of his kingdom follows the 
migrations of the tribes descended from him^ from the Thes- 
salian worshippers of the sea", into central Greece, to Par- 
nassus, Opus, and Cynus ; and he was said to have been buried 
at Athens ^^ and to have there founded the most ancient 
temple of Jupiter Olympius, containing within its precincts & 
fissure through which the waters of the Deluge were imagined 
to have escaped ^\ This deluge happened in the time of the 
Athenian king Cranaus, or, in other words, when the indi- 
genous inhabitants of Attica were, as Herodotus asserts them 
to have been^, Pelasgian Granai, and when their dialect had 
not as yet undergone that change which occurred when they 
passed from the Pelasgian denomination to that of Hellenes. 
This change was again referred by genealogists to Deucalion. 
Hellen, his son, had three children, iEolus, Dorus, Xuthus; 
Xuthus was father of Achseus and Ion. The theory impUed in 
this genealogy becomes clearer when compared with another^', 
in which the Patriarch is directly identified with the god, and^ 
Hellen is said to be nominally son of Deucalion, but really son 
of Zeus* Deucalion then as well as Hellen, for Hellen too is 
made a Zeus in genealogy**, is a symbol or eponym of the 
many-sided Pelasgian nature- god, the tradition of whose death 
was alone sufi&cient in the opinion of the later Greeks to con- 
Tert hiTn from a deity into a hero. He might be the Zeus 
^'xa^cuog" of the high place where his ark was stranded, the 
Orestheus of ^tolia^ the power to whom he sacrificed on Par- 

^ Buttmann's Hytbos der Siindflat MythoL L 191. Lncian, D. S. 12, 18. 
«* Apollod. i. 7. 2. 5. Etym. M. p. 294. Gomj^. Jaaon riiiDg from the Anannu 
er Byenof, Titan from the Bosphorns, &c. 
" Zeus Pelonu. 
*• Stnbo, iz. 425. Pans. 1 18. 

*» Comp. Pind. 01. ix. 78, on the reabaorption of the waters by the art of Zens, 
« Herod, i 66, 67 ; ii. 61 ; vi. 137 ; vu. 94. Thucyd. i. 2. 
« Bustath. ad Odyss. x. 2. Schol. ApoUon. Rh. i. 118. ApoUod- i. 7 ; U. 7, ^ 
•* Bnripid. Midaiiippe, Frag. 2. Burip. Ion. 68. Pind; Pyth. Ir.191. ' ' 


nassus^, or to whom Fhrixus sacrificed the ram, either the im-: 
personation of the deluge, or the sun-god rescued like Perseus 
or Dionysus from its floods, instituting the institutions of set- 
tled life after the inundations of winter. He is the god dis- 
guised under one of his attributes or titles, establishing his own 
worship at Dodona, and instituting the duodenary Pantheon 
Tirtually contained within himself, corresponding with the 
twelve constituent tribes of the Amphictyonic congress. He 
was founder of Hellenism, as being the divine rather than 
human author of its civil and religious institutions, and for the 
same reason ancestor of Aethlius, '^ the wrestler,*' and of the 
Thessalian or Attic king Amphictyon, names commemorative 
of those federative festivals founded on community of worship 
which were among the chief sources of Hellenic union and 



The famous dispute between Athena and Poseidon for pos- 
session of Attica, supposed to have occurred in the reign of 
Cecrops, a being half man, half fish, was said to have been de- 
cided under the authority of Zeus either by Cecrops alone as 
umpire, or by the twelve gods of Olympus. Such stories, even 
when with least historical pretension, may be the more valuable 
as intimations of opinion. It would seem in the case adduced 
as if the whole of the later Pantheon were placed in equation 
with a single pantheic emblem disguised as a patriarch and 
paralleled with Zeus. In attempting to form a conception of 
the progress of the theosophy which Herodotus calls " Pelas- 
gjian," it is impossible to avoid speculating on the wide extent 
of the denomination which, as a nebulous halo, indefinitely 
spreads itself round the elementary centres of Greek history. 
Ancient Hellas or Pelasgia' was occupied by tribes different in 
naiiie, but impossible to distinguish ; lonians were Pelasgian as 

*• Schol. ApoUon. ii. 655. 1151. i Herod, ii. 56; yiii. 4. 


well as ^olians*, and the barbaroas races which in later times 
hovered round the frontier had at an earUer period been inti- 
mately connected with the Greek aborigines'. The ^dSoUan 
Felasgians of Fthiotis^ the ancestors of Fierus, favourite of 
Apollo ^ of the Aloide who chained the god of war, changed 
sea into land, and founded the worship of the Muses', may 
themselves have been Fierian Thracians, as on the other hand 
they were unquestionably Hellenes, the tomb of whose eponym- 
ous hero or god was shown at Melitsea on the £nipeus^ 
Again, the fusion of Felasgians, of Thessalian8^ and of those 
whom Aristotle thought the most ancient Hellenic tribe, the 
Helli or Selli of Dodona', with Tyrrheni*, is a remarkable link 
in the mass of confused statements implying a general connec- 
tion of the aboriginal inhabitants of Greece and Italy ^^ The 
name of the Tyrrheni was partly identified and almost co-exten- 
sive with that of Felasgian itself* \ They were builders of the 
walls of Athens and Tyrins, marauders and tyrants in the 
^gean^^ once holders of Attica, and to a late period in occu- 
pation of Lemnos, and parts of the coasts of Macedonia and 
Thrace^*. They were reputed to have been connected with the 
Cadmean authors of arts and letters, and to have been teachers 
of religious mysteries ^^. Their name occurs in the genealogies 
of Lydia^', and their power extended to the western Mediterra- 
nean, which they are assumed to have reached either by crossing 

* Herod. Tii. 94, 95. Muller, Orchom. 121. * Strabo, 821. 
« ApoUod. ill 10. 2. • Pans. ix. 29. 

* Stnbo, ix. 431, 4S2. Herod, i. 58. 

* Niebohi^s Rome, tiani., p. 80, sq. 
■ Aristot. Meteor. L 14. 28. 

* SchoL Venet to Iliad, ztl 235. 

** If iiller, Orcliom. Appx. 1. Gomp. Diod. 8. iv. 67. Dion. Hal. i. 18. 

" Serv. to JBn. viii. 600. IHon. Hal. i. 25. 28, 29, confounded with "Mlnyse." 
Hoeek, Kreta, ii 422, 423. 

'* Horn. Hymn Dionys. yi 8. Herod, iy. 148 ; tI 187. Philochori Fragm. 
Didot Fng. 5. Athensena, xr. 672 \ 

»» Herod, u. 51. Thuc. iv. 109. 

^* Herod, ib. and r. 61. Plato, Law>, p. 788. Miiller, Orchom. 444. 455. 

» Greus. Frag. Hut. p. 147. 149. 152. 


the Adriatic ^^ or, according to a not altogether inconsist^t 
tradition, since both might have been equally founded in fact, 
by leading a colony from Lydia to Etruria^^. The ancient 
connection of Troes and Dardani with Thracians", and even 
Tfith Emathia, seems to presume the continuity of a race of 
Thraces, Trausi, or Odrysae, worshippers of the god Tor, Tyr, 
or Targitaus, 

** QeticU qui praesidet anrii/'" 

connecting Bithynia and Phrygia with the Italian Tyr- 
ifaeni, and on the other hand with the Scythian Tyritse, 
Tyragetffi, and Agathyrsi. In the sense of a common origin 
there may have been a real foundation for the theory of 
Dionysius that the Troes were of Hellenic extraction*". The 
close resemblance of Trojans and Greeks is familiar to every 
reader of Homer *\ and cannot be wholly accounted for by 
supposing the traces of national individuality to have been 
already obliterated in the sources from whence Homer drew". 
The Troad, which, subsequent to the far-famed war, was a pos- 
session of the Thracian Treres", continued long after to be 
the seat of a worship analogous to that of Athena and ApoUo, 
and in the Iliad Tros is son of Erichthonius, while Dardanus 
can only be regarded as a repetition of his father, a sort 
of Hermes or Zeus'*. The opposite coasts of the Hellespont 
seem to have been inhabited by kindred races", similar in cus- 
toms and language, and interwoven by compUcated emigrations. 
The Homeric relation between the Trojans and the great 
Faeonian nation on the Strymon*', who sent auxiliaries under 

^ Hellanicas, Storz. 108. Dion. H. i. 28. Comp. Milller, ib. p. 481, 482. 

»» Herod, i. 94. Hor. Sat L 6. 1. Tacit. Annd. iv. 65. 

>< n. ii. 844. StepL Byz. Ariibe. Diod. r. 48. 

>» Aul. Gd. V. 12. Grimm'B Mythol. i. 177, 178. Weishaupt to Tadt Germ. 9. 
p. 200. 
. •• "EXXuMjM* M^xnitf,** Dion. Hal. L 62. 

« Comp. \irg. iEn. viu. 129. 182. « Hoeck, Kreta, ii. 268. 

" Strabo, xii. 673 ; xiii. 686. (278, Tcb.) 

»• Iliad,. XX. 216. 280. Virgil, iEn. vu. 210. 

» Strabo, xii. 664. (168 Teh.) . » Iliad, ii. 849 ; xxi 141. 


the starry" son of Pelagon, is explained by the story of a great, 
emigration of Mysians and Teucrians who, in a remote age 
crossing the Hellespont from Asia, subdued Thrace, and ex- 
tended themselves as far as the Peneus and the Ionian Sea'*. 
The Trojans were connected not only with this distant colony, 
but with European Thrace generally. Among their allies were 
Acamas, Iphidamas^ Bhesus; and the close relation intimated 
by the poet is confirmed by many collateral circumstances of 
identity in names and legends". While the FaBonians of the Stry-: 
mon announced themselves to be descended from the ancient 
Asiatic Teucrians "^^ the race of Dardanus reappears in the 
remote region of the Thracian Orbelus'S and in the mountain 
districts of Illyria. It has been hence inferred that the abori- 
ginal population of Greece and Hither Asia was a connected; 
race spread in ante-historic times from the North, and that the 
Teucri and Dardani may have been to the Trojans what the 
Pelasgi were to the Hellenes. It has been further supposed 
that the similarity of the ancient Teucri and Dardani to allied 
Pelasgic races gave occasion to an assumption that the ab- 
origines of the Troad were themselves Pelasgic, and that hence 
arose the theory deriving Dardanus from Arcadia, /'where 
Pelasgus first grew out of the black earth,"" ». e. from the 
country where the primitive race was most familiarly known to 
exist in the unaltered individuality of its original character. 
Dardanus, cotemporary of Phineus, may be compared with the 
Lydian lardanus, whose wife was married to Hercules, as Her- 
cules to the king of Mysia and Teuthrania", whose son he 
adopts. The name of Dardanus accompanies that of the mi-: 
gratory god interpreted according to his varying aspect either* 

" "Asteropaus." » Herod, t. 12. 122; vu. 20. 76. 

^ €»g. Arisbe, Xanthus, the &ble of Midas, &c. "Bex Dardanomm Midai, qui 
Fhrygiam tenuit"— Serv. to Vii^. iBn. iL 825. 

•• Herod, v. 13. Gomp. the erpression, " vvX%t^frm% rmt tt^x'^*"* Twu^mt,** 
lb. ch. 122. 

« Diod. V. 48. Plin. N. H. iv. 1. 

» Paui. Tiii. 1, 2. » Teuthrae, DeuB Tyr 1 


as Mars or Hercules'^, and his simultaneous presence in Asia, 
Italy, MsBsia and Arcadia, can be understood only of a far 
wandering race, such as the Pelasgians or Tyrrheni*'. The 
Dardani, though a savage people living in caves of the earth, 
are said to have had considerable taste for music, playing on 
pipes and stringed instruments ''; and the migratory Tyirheni, 
once the tyrants and architects of Greece*^, must have possessed 
in the East as in the West a superiority in knowledge as well 
as power which made their various settlements in the European 
peninsulas'*, the most probable *' Tarshish," or Hesperia of the 
Ganaanites. In the uEgean as in the Western seas'*, the Tyr- 
rheni are associated with Phoenicians; Dardanus is said to have 
become intimate with Cadmus at Samothrace^^ and Thasus, a 
son of Poseidon, accompanied the sons of Agenor^^ in the 
search after Europa^'. The mythical voyage of Cadmus encir- 
cles the iBgean from Rhodes to Santorin or Thera, thence to 
Samothrace and Thrace^; yet the traditions associating his 
name with Phoenician traffic and colonization are by no means 
irreconcilable with the presumption of his being a theological 
personage originally Greek. The gods followed the migratory 
habits of men, and Cadmus and Dardanus, considered as human 
sovereigns, were obliged to pass from land to land in order to 
explain the widely spread recurrences of the ideas and pecu- 
liarities of their people. Discoveries of arts were not the mere 
invention of man, but gifts of the Deity associated with his 

** Tacit Germ. 8 and 9. Yiig. Mn. TiiL 103. 276. 

*■ "Benas" is said to be Phrygian for God (Dion. HaL i. 78) ; and hj the com- 
mon change of r into ), aa in vlwf for water, Dens for But, fiider for r«rvf, a plau- 
sible etymology might be devised to explain the word Dardanus, only there are on* 
fortunately at least two others equally so. 

*■ Strabo, vii. 316. 

" The words rv^mnt and rv^jf were said to haye been inherited firom them. 
Philochor. Frag. 5. Steph. Byz. ad yoc. Dion. H. i. 26. 

* Comp. the names Tarseium, Tarchonium, Tarragona, Tartessus, Taras or Ta- 
rentum, Tarracina. Tchuk. to Mela. ii. 4. 9. 

^ Herod, i. 166. ** Steph. Bys. r. Dardanus. 

** Yolcker, Japetus, p. 68. Creuzer, Briefe, 105. 160. 

" Apollod. iii. 1. 1. « Herod, ii. 44; iv. 147. 


earliest thoughts, and the voyage of Cadmus may be only this 
recognition of an analogy between the indigenous god 
(Hennes) and those Phoenician adventurers who seemed to 
resemble him as much in superior knowledge as in predatory 
habits. The transference of idea would be easier if, as in the 
ease of the Felasgian deity, the secular migration was concur- 
rent with a physical or ideal one ; for as the Asiatic adventures 
of Orestes or Bellerophon rest in regard to their historical 
oignificancy rather on independent probabilities^^ than on the 
particular legends, so if it were not for the direct evidence in 
Homer and Herodotus of the presence of Fhosnicians in the 
J3Bgean^^ the voyage of Cadmus, like that of Danaus, or of 
FhGenix^^ would be altogether what it doubtless is in part, 
a mere mode of representing the apparent type of all terrestrial 
colonisation, the sun, advancing from the east with gifts of 
mental illumination as well as of material abundance, and end- 
ing his career by dying in the west^^. A similar construction 
might be put on the Lydian (or Phrygian) colony of Pelops, 
who though, like Cadmus, originally an Acheean personifica- 
tion^, was made to share with Perseus and other heroes in the 
representation of early influences supposed to have been exerted 
from the Asiatic coasts upon Greece. These influences, how- 
ever, were only collateral and subordinate to those which, 
attested by the legends of Delos and Delphi, Dodona and 
Olympia, connected the physical idea of the sun's return out of 

** On Lycia comp. Hoeck. yoI. ii. 828. The migntioiu of Orettes probably 
idato to litei of Oarian or Achaean worship. 

^ Plass, Urgeichichte der Hellenen, i. 99. 106. Herod, i. 1* Comp. Josephof, 
Apion, i. 12. 

^ Phceniz, too, was inrentor of the alphabet ; he was also finther of Adonis by 
Kynha or Alphesibtea (Apollod. iii. 14. 4), and, according to Homer, he threatened 
to repeat the parricide of the celebrated Egyptian bird which periodically immolated 
its parent on a pile of myrrh. (Herod. iL 78.) 

** The imaginary giaye of Gadmns was on the Drilo, in the district of Dyrrha- 
chinm in Illyria (Apollon. Rh. iy. 517. Tsetses, Chil. iy. 895), the seeming limit of 
the wanderings of his worshippers (1). 

^ Antesion in Schol. Find. OL 187. 


the North with that of the principal channel of Greek inuni^ 
gration^^ Though Felasgas made Thrace the Umit of his 
nominal sway^*, Thracians had long before penetrated into 
Attica and Peloponnesus, the son of Poseidon and Chione had 
brought a Thracian army to war against a kindred being in 
Erectheus**, and it was from Thrace that originally came thoso 
Cyclopean builders of Tiryns, Argos, and Mycenae", who after- 
wards, from a concurrence probably of speculative with other 
reasons**, were referred either to the Lycian land of the sun's 
rising, or as arbitrarily dismissed to pasture their herds along* 
with those of Helios in Sicily. The Thracians so intimately 
connected on the continent with Pelasgi are still less distin- 
guishable from them in the islands, to which they brought the 
worship of Dionysus, and where the two races are described 
iedtemately as aborigines'*. The islands were thus an obvious 
link in the connection "recognised when with the extension of 
discovery the legends of Greece found a pedigree and parentage 
in analogies traced backward towards the region of their pro- 
bable origin**; the priestess of the Tauric Artemis is said to 
have acknowledged a brother in the son of Glyteemnestra who 
carried the statue of the goddess into Greece, and the ancient 
afiEuiity of the Athenians with Boreas *^ their faithful ally during 
the Persian war, was supposed to have originated in the mar- 
riage of the Erectheid Oreitheia, a name also belonging to the 
leader of the Thracian Amazons, whose worship of the first 

** According to Herod, (iv. S3) the Ddian legend was in exact conformity with . 
the UBages of the Northern tribes. Comp. Pans. i. 81. 2. Minn, Y. H. iil 1. 
Callim. H. Del. 284. Btym. M. Dodonaios. Find. OL ui. 28. 

*» iBschyL SuppL 230, Bothe. Acusilai Fragm. Stan. zitr. p. 217. 

'* Pans. i. 38. 3. » Schol. Bnrip. Orest 955 (or 966)» 

« Uschold, VorhaUe, ii. 814. 

*« Herod, yii. 95. Diod. y. 50. 81. Strabo, x. 445. Muller, in his Mythology 
(p. 94, Trans.), corrects his statement in the " Orchomenus " (p. 298), which is also 
animadverted on by Welcker, Trilogie, p. 208. 

*> MUller, Oxchom. p. 805. 

" A being half man, half snake, like Cecrops and Erectheus. Supr. p. 244, n. 83. 


** homicide"'^ had given its name to the old criminal tribunal 
of Areopagus'*. 




The mythical Thracians, who acted so important a part in 
the transmission of the first elements of culture, are one of the 
most difficult, as well as interesting problems of Greek anti- 
quity. It was assumed with warrantable pride that the tra* 
ditional authors of poetry, music, and religion \ must have been 
It race hi superior in civilization to the hordes since known as 
Thracian^ though, it may be added, that they could scarcely 
have attained this influence and celebrity, unless, like the later 
Thessali, they had been related in language' and habits to the 
people amoDg whom they came. Homer s Thrace has a double 
aspect; the country of the snowy north ^ changes into the 
fruitfdl mother of wine and pasture', the den of Ares into the 
vineyard of Maron, son of Euanthes. These names answered 
to the two principal deities attributed to the historical Thra« 
cians. Herodotus mentions a Thracian triad, whom he calls 
Ares, Artemis, and Dionysus; Hermes, too, had a peculiar 
worship, and was considered the divine ancestor of the kings ^ 
Ares is a power whose angry aspect, like that of Apollo, is 

■" iBichyl. Buhl Botbe, 625. Hellan. Frag. 16, p. 57. 

> Strabo, tu. 821 ; ix. 410; x. 471. Bode, Dichtkimst der Hellenen, L 91. 

* Ptni. ix. 29. 2. Thucyd. iL 29. Herod, y. 8. Comp. I 57, 58 ; ii. 52 ; for 
the Pelaagi^ thongb barboroui in compariioii with Hellenet, might esteem themielTei 
■aperior to foreign harharians. 

' Uuk, ttber die Thiakiache Spiachclane, Halle, 1822, p. 8. 

* Hiad, ix. 5 ; xiy. 227. Comp. Bnrip. Hec 79 ; Androm. 214. 

• Iliad, xi. 222 ; XX. 485. 

• T. 7. 


represented in Lycurgos, son of Dryas^, in PoIynmestor> Flei- 
storas^ Diomedes' ; violator of the rights of hospitality, hated 
by his own father*, the enemy or antithesis of Dionysus and 
the Muses". Artemis is the great mother, or Juno, answering 
probably to the Scythian Estia, or Maia, changing occasionally 
into Hecate", and generally the many-named queen of Nature. 
Dionysus is the vernal sun, the joyous time of year, (Eneus, 
or CBnopion^^ periodically expelled by a violent adversary", 
Or dying under the names of Polydorus, Gharops, Orpheus, 
Buto, &c. In the imagination of the Greeks, the Gk>d whose 
residence was among the snowy mountains of Thrace ^^ was 
exclusively a war daemon, or god of death, the appropriate 
patron of the Brygians". But the power overwhelmed by 
Athene, or chained by the Aloid®, the Mamers of Rome, or 
Samothracian lover of Aphrodite, was originally a personifica- 
tion of Nature^' whose physical or universal character under- 
went the disintegrating process of the Epic, and whose martial 
ferocity, humanised in Diomed, Acamas, or Thoas, son of An- 
draemon", represents either the notion of solar force producing 
the destructive heats of summer, or that of the grave, or under- 
world, where in the form of the dragon, said to have been his 
minister or progeny in Colchis or Boeotia *', he watches over the 

' Iliad, Ti. 181. Comp. Apollod. L 8. 2, with iii. 5. 1. He was said to baTe 
been grandson of Man, and to have been wonhipped by tbe Bdones. Strabo, x. 
722. Zoega, Abbandlungen, p. 20, iq. Aachyli Lycnigiay ed. Didot, p. 177. 

" ScboL Find. Nem. z. 12. 

• Iliad, y. 890. 

** Sopb. Antig. 968. 

" PauB. ii. 80. Scliol. Apollon. iii. 467. 

IS (Eneut-DionyniB, both husbands of Althtea, giveri of the gmpe. Apollod. i 8. 

^ Agndos, &C. 

^ Iliad, ix. 6 ; xiy. 227. Odyss. viiL 861. Meonins to Lycophr. 987. 

" CycU Frag. Didot. p. 685 \ Iliad, xiu. 801. ^lian, V. H. viii. 6. 

>« Ouigniaut, Rel. ii. 642. 649. 

>' e-i, %. e. the "npid" sun. Iliad, ziiL 828. Comp. Uschold, YorhaUe, ii. 64. 
The phrase " m^utyytm mvmJop \Xtw9m" in the hymn to Ares, means the planet 
Mars, and is probably of oomparatiTely late origin. 

>• Schol. Soph. Antig. 118. Apollod. iiL 4. 1. 


springs of abundance, and the treasured hopes of futurity ^'^ 
His aspect changes, like that of Apollo, from a deity to a dae- 
mon, author of pestilence as of discord'^, and husband of an 
Erinnys, whose Colchian grove, inclosed within a seyenfold 
wall guarded by Hecate, and unapproached by mortal foot- 
step 'S is an evident description of Hades. like many other 
Homeric gods, seemingly Olympian, or exclusively supernal, 
he thus becomes an ambiguous or Othonian power, craving 
human victims, like the tyrant Thoas in the Thracian Chersonese, 
or else a prisoner", or victim", in his own " stony" dominion, 
like Lycurgus or Polyphemus, Phineus or Orion, bound or 
blinded by divine interposition '^ a god dishonoured among 

Except as adversary, or antithesis, of Cadmus, Jason, and 
Dionysus, Ares seems to have been but little noticed ; his phy- 
sical attributes were distributed among other divinities, as 
Hercules, Hermes, and Apollo, and his name is often absorbed 
in those of heroes. Tereus, the Thracian son of Ares in Pho- 
oian legend'^, is himself the destroying god, while Eumolpus, 
saved from the waters, and entombed at Eleusis, performs the 
part of Dionysus. The alternate exile or chaining of Lycurgus 
and Dionysus by each other *^, is evidently the ever-recurring 

^ «. e. The golden fleece, the apples of the Hesperides, the fountain Tilphosta, 
A& Comp. H. D. MlUler, Beitrag 'dber Ares, p. 22, &c The dngon being emblem 
both of destruction, as in the case of Python, and of renoTation, as in that of .Sscor 
lapios, Polyidas, &c. ApoUod. iii. 8. 1. 

^ Soph. (Edip. B. 190. iBsch. Choeph. 925. 

*> Oiph. Argon. 897. 908. ** Horn. n. t. 885. » Biad, zzi. 408. 

** Compare the expression applied by Sophocles, (Antig. 955,) to Lycufgos 
" «{<%«A«r," " mrfmiu »mrm^^mMTH ** h^fuf" with the ** )«^«r« ftan^n ittrftf^i 
MMnetfi," in Henod, Theog. 777. Iliad, tL 189. Odyss. ix. 882. 479. IHod. S. 
iii. 65. 

* *' Anrtfug." Soph. (Ed. B. 215. Comp. iSschyl. Bum. 691. " At^t f^rrM$ 
Bun ix^'^H ^»9rm9" Uiad, iz. 159. The legends of Ares rekte chiefly to his 
OTerthrow or imprisonment, his transformation into the wintry emblems of bear and 
fish ; yet he was in a sense also Zens, or God. Theo. to Arat. 225. Bratosthenes, 

*• ApoUod. iiL 14. 8. Conon. Narr. 81. Photias, p. 489. Tyr.1 

*' Biad, ▼. 885; tL 180. Soph. Antig. 955. Serrins to iBn. iiL 14. 


.antithesis of Nature, the Yicissitade of the seasons, Lycnrgus^ 
the fierce heat, the genius of destruction, "Ai/«ioj," "fifacfyof," 
'* gf oToxoiyof," and Dionysus, fertility rescued by Thetis, the 
renewer of life and time, deliverer of Nature from her chains", 
the emblem of spring, whom the women of Elis, Argos, or 
Thebes'* summoned to appear out of the waters ''with his 
oxen hoof." A similar physical antithesis, expressing the great 
outlines of natural religion under the symbols of goyemment 
OT family, pervades the legends and mysteries of Greece. Con- 
ceptions fundamentally the same are to be found in the Trini- 
ties of Samothrace, ^tolia, Thelpusa, Eleusis, Athens***, and, 
it may be added, of Etruria and Bome'^ Everywhere is the 
same, or some similar scene of strife, in which day and night **> 
summer and winter, destroy or supplant each other. Lycurgus 
banishes Dionysus, and Dionysus chains Lycurgus. The Lion 
and the Boar, Polynices and Tydeus-Ares**, emblems of the 
contrasted seasons, fight in the Court of Adrastus*^, Adrastus 
who at Sicyon is the antithesis of Melanippus, and in Fhrygia 
the murderer of Atys. The sons of Croesus, the sons of Bo- 
reas and of Jason**, all probably represent "Dioscuri" of various 
kinds, paired, or opposed. The same antagonism occurs in 
the Thracian colonization of Naxos, the favoured of " Sta*- 
phylus," or the grape**, where Theseus was terrified by a night 
vision to cede Ariadne to the local god, the mystical repetition 
of himself, where Butes drowns himself*^, and the Aloidse, like 
the (Edipodse, perish by each other's hands. Orpheus takes 

* AvrtH. Grenzer, S. ii. 619. GKiigmaat, B. iu. 64. 

* Flutaicli, Qu. Gr». 86. Ins and 0. 85. Soph. (Ed. T. and Antig. Enrip. 
Bacchae, 1006. 

. ** Comp. Qerhard's table of Pelaagian theogony, in Crenzer, 8. iii. p. 164. Sckol. 
Soph. (Ed. Colon. 66. Paiu. viii. 26. 

" Qerhaid, die Gottheiten der Btnuker, p. 6. 

« Hes. Th. 749. 

« ApoUod. ii. 6. 8. »* ApoUod. iiL 6. 1. 

* Herod, i. 84. Acoailai Frag. 20» HUller, Oxchom. 299. 

* Schol. Aiiftoph. Pint 1021. 
" Died. S. T. 60. 


up the lyre which ApoUo had thrown down", as he attempted 
to heal the wound of which AristaBus had been the cause**, 
and, in his turn, falls a victim to the jealousy of a telluric 
Dionysus for worshipping the rising sun, and watching for its 
appearance from the summit of Pangaeus or Olympus. The 
idea is the same, when the physical opposition is distri- 
buted between three persons or seasons instead of two, for in- 
stance, in the share of Proserpine, or the Proetides, allotted to 
the season of gloom, to Pluto, or to Melampus*", in the fratricide 
of the ^acidsB, Cabiri, or Corybantes*'; or when the two con- 
trasted aspects blend in one personification, as in the dark and 
white sail of Theseus, the rising and setting hemispheres of 
Hermes- Argas*', or Thoas, the swift-footed Ares of the Cher- 
sonese, who at Lemnos represents the fiigitive Dionysus, or 
slaughtered Zagreus^. 

But this dualism, or strife, is always subordinate to a 
third power, male or female, in whom reside the sovereign 
prerogatives of arbitration, healing, and perpetuity, and ^ho 
then bears the legitimate functions of Zeus; he punishes the 
proud, reconciles discord, brings life out of death, and main- 
tains the regularity of nature**. This supremacy most fre- 
quently attached to Zeus, Athene, or Apollo, occasionally be- 
longs to the other deities, and is sometimes even given to per- 
sonages whose rank is only mortal ; as, for instance, to Phi- 
neus, who, as father of Polydectes and Polydorus, contains the 
dualism in himself; or in the tragedy of Pentheus*', where the 

* Bntoft Gatast. zxiy. p. 19. iEschyli Basaarides, p. 180, Didot 

• Viig. Geoig. iv. 457. *• ApoUod. i. 5. 8. 

*^ Find. NeuL ▼. 12. Apollod. iii. 12. 6. Pans. ii. 29. Clem. Alex. Frotr. 12. 
10. Pott Welcker, Trilog. 252. 

^ Bnrip. Phoeniss. 1116. Comp. ^tlialides, son of Hennee, allowed to reside 
SQooetsiyely in the npper and lower world. 

^ The Thoas of Lemnos is son of Dionjsns, Apollod. i. 9. 17. Apollon. Bh. 
i 622, &c., and escapes to (Bn<Be, the island of " Wine." His daughter, Hypsipyle, 
is afterwards slave to Lycorgus. 

** iBschyl Suppl 589. Agam. 858. 

** Penthens, the dragon, or earth-bom son of Echion, of the seed of the dragon of 

VOL. I. 8 


expiiiog yetf is tora asunder by the Baocbsnab, headed by its 
mother under the form of Agwe, Cadmns ^'the great ^y" the 
ancestor of Dionysus, assumes the office of siq^mor god in 
lecombining the Scattered limbs, and who indeed so appro- 
pxiately, asthe author of the Theban raoe, who fust introduced 
the phallic worship of Dionysus, i. e, the symbol of regenera- 
tioD, and who, with his consort Hacmonia, finally became the 
two emblematic serpents of the caducous of Hermes ^ ? There 
are many mythical names, as Fhorbus, Triops, lasus, Cory- 
thus^, which it would be difficult to assign as predicates to par- 
ticular gods, because they belong to deity in general; and the 
Thradan Zamobds, whom the Greeks were disposed to identify 
with Cronus^', includes a pantheon in himself as Ares, Zagreus, 
Euphorbus-Pythagoias and Hermes Trophonius**. Among 
the inferior gods, the office of paramount decision most frequently 
belongs to Apollo*', who then becomes emphatically the **Biof 
T«fEAXj|y«y,"** or supreme divinity. Apollo Lycius, orLycurgus, 
proprietor of the celebrated Olympic discus, or orb of day*', is 
in this sense one with Ares and Zeus; in another his attributes 
absorb those of Dionysus, with whomLycurgus is contrasted 


Am, not mortal, or woniHui-boni, Imt like one of the Giant adTemriet of the Qodg, 
(Bnrip. Bacchs, 582. 976. 984,) a mighty hero, intent on ardnona laboors, destined 
to find eternal ffiary in the monmnents of the shy (ib. 960). He waa torn to pieeei 
by the Msenadea on CithaBion, the scene of the death of Actason (1281), when fol- 
lowing the Bull in female disguise (1145) ; his mother, as a priestess (1103), or as 
Dame Nature, first attacked him by rending away his shoulder ; and his head was 
borne on a pole, or thyrsus, like that of a lion, through the midst of CSthasron 
(1181, 1164, 1204^ 1268). 

^ Burip. Baochs^ 1290. 1815. 

«' Burip. BaochsB, 1820. Yolcker, Japetos, 96; i. q., the Column of the Aloidse 
or Dioscuri. Hyg. Fng. 28. 

^ Oom. SchwenVs Mythol. der Bomeri 480. lUgen, Hymn to Apollo, Pyth. 
88. Pans. iL 22 ; Tii. 26, &c 

^ Greus. Symb. iii 12. Buttmann, MythoL iL 51. 

» Comp. Herod, ir. 94—96. *» Iliad, viiL 69; xru. 209. 

*' Herod, i. 90. ^schyl. Septem, 658. 

** Plutarch, Tit Lycuig. Herod. I 65. Comp. Strabo, Tin. 866. 

*« SchoL Aristoph. Bquit 589. 


His omnipotence is dnalistic; he is now the destroyer, lord of 
the death-dealing arrows and bow**, walking like the night *^ 
or retiring to the shades*^ ; now he is Psean or Phorbas, the 
healer or nourisher**, defender of the city of the elements*'; 
fais bow, not always bent, is occasionally exchanged for the 
lyre**, with which the usually fierce Achilles sometimes diverts 
the solitude of his tent**. So, too, Dionysus, the "polyony- 
mous *^" has two aspects ; the joyous tamer of savage beasts, 
the reveller of the hills*', changes to t^e terrific vision of 
Theseus, or the dark figure** who suddenly appeared behind 
Xanthus in the combat with Melanthus. Great as is the diver- 
sity of their respective stations and rites, the son of Semele and 
the son of Latona are mystically or metaphysically related as 
descended from the same Here wx^a^, and partaking, after a 
different fashion, the same antithesis so repeatedly recurring in 
mythical genealogies, as between Paris and Hector, Menelaus 
and Agamemnon**, causing the slaughter of brother by bro- 
ther, and of fiiend by friend. 

They are twin conceptions, descended from a common father, 
and each representing a physical dualism comprehended in the 
integral or supreme deity, who theologically would be called 
Helios or Zeus*^. Each has some characteristics of the other ; 
the supernal sun is properly Apollo, the sun in the lower hemi- 

** Mtchyl Agam. 1049, XM^«f, Wf«M«f. «* Iliad, i. 42. 47. 

" Comp. Odyss. ri. 818 ; xii. 883. He is the deyouring Cyclops, Folyphemns, 
gnardian of the Sicilian herds of Helios. Comp. Eurip. Cyclops, 820. 884 ; the an- 
tithesis of XHonysos, ib. 485. 615 ; the fierce batcher of Hades, ib. 896. 

^ niad, ii 766. Find. Py th. iiL 27. Callim. H. Ap. 50. Kvixiv^t^t, AXtli»mM6t, 
Piansan. TiiL 41. 5. 

* Iliad, zzL 515. Soph. (Ed. Tyr. 197. 

** Hynm, Apoll. Del. 181. Horace, Od. ii. 10. 18. Comp. ill 4. 60. 

« Iliad, 1 177 ; ix. 186. Pind. Pyth. i. 19. 

** Soph. Antig. 1115. Plutarch, de Ei Delph. 9. 

•* Soph. (Ed. T. 211. Sery. ^n. L 784. Uschold, Yorhalle, ii. 121. 

'* Melas^ son of (Enopion. 

«• Crenzer, S. iii 118. Chugiuant, Bel. iu. 282. ** Odyss. iii. 186. 

*' Orphic. H. Tii 18, Frag. yii. 27. 

s 2 


sphere, Dionysas*'; the one is god of day, the other bears the 
torch as leader of the nocturnal stars**; yet Apollo descends 
to the shades, and Dionysus rises in the constellation of the 
Bull. Both are~ in turn opposed, successive, or supreme in 
respect to each other. Orpheus, succeeding to Apollo^*, is 
killed by a superior Dionysus; again the torch of Dionysus, 
leader of the Muses, is extinguished by Lycurgus^^; and as 
Maron, son of Euanthes^', or Anius, the spirit of the Delian 
lament^', Dionysus is himself Apollo's priest, and officiates 
before him at Delphi ^^. Both deities share the rocks and 
sanctuary of Famassus^^ where Dionysus-Orpheus is entombed 
under the protection of the Delphic god^', as the Aloidse, slain 
by each other, are buried within the sacred precincts of Diony- 
sus as presidential god of nature at Naxos and Anthedon^^. 


The interment of a god within the temple of another deity 
indicates a presumed relationship, and a superiority in popu- 
lar estimation of the living power, according to an improved 
idea of the immortal nature of the Divine. The traditional 
resemblance had outlasted changes of opinion, and Orpheus, 

« "Nyctelim''; Flatarch, Ei Delph. 4 and 9. 

« Soph. Antig. 1125. llacrob. Sat i. 18, p. 300. ?» Bntoith. 24. 

71 Stmbo, xiiL 628. Soph. Antig. nb. s. ^ Odysi. iz. 198. 

^ Anias, a Bacchic symbol, whom Virgil, in relation to the later religion of Ddoi^ 
makes a priest of ApoUo, while Cretan legend considered him as a lieutenant of 
BhadamanthuB. Hoeck's Ereta, iL 228. 

74 A^toph. Nub. 595. 

7> Plutarch de Ei Delphico, ch. ix. Soph. Antig. IISO. Paoa. iz. 82. 5. Bnr. 
Bacchie, 802. Aristoph. Ban. 1212. 

7* Plat Isis and Osiris; ch. zzxr. Philochori Frag. 22, Didot 

77 Pans. iz. 22. Died. S. t. 50. 


Eumolpus, Linns might be considered as living for ever in 
Apollo^ Dionysus, and Zeus. The burial of Fandion, Erec- 
theus, or Acrisius in the temple of Minerva, of Myrtilus in that 
of Hermes S of Deucalion in that of Zeus, was as the tomb of 
Osiris in the sanctuary of Sais, or Isis reposing under the patron- 
age of Pthah at Memphis. All the gods were alternately sub- 
ordinate and supreme, and the varying relation was variously 
imaged by strife, by parentage, by protection, nurture, or media- 
tion. Sonship and successivity mean sometimes identity, some- 
times opposition ; thus Orion is son of Hyrieus (Aquarius ?), 
(Enomaus of Ares or Hermes',* the firebrand Meleager either 
of Ares or of (Eneus '. Strife implies the rivalry of identical 
conceptions as well as the opposition of contrasted ones ; Hercules 
wrestling with Zeus, or Here contending for the apple with 
Aphrodite, are nearly allied rivals, and the hostility of Apollo 
to Amphion ^ or to Lycus, would seem to make hinn the anti- 
thesis of himself as generally understood '. Ares or his dragon 
overcome or pacified by Athene or Medea supposes the su- 
premacy of a great mother; Ares in turn is omnipotent in the 
release of Hades', and Hermes, the minister and representative 
of Zeus, occasionally becomes his equal or superior, for he 
liberates not only Ares^ and Prometheus, but even Zeus him- 
self*. The ministerial relation arises out of a dramatic sub- 
division of his character, for Hermes is himself Prometheus 
" oMOMYtra" the founder of all worship ', the great deity of the 
ancient Pelasgi, the mysterious centre of Theban, Arcadian, 
Samothracian religion. His primary character is that of finit- 

> Pans. Tiii. 14. 7. * Volcker, Japetas, 107. 861. 

' So, too, in the many penonifications of the heavenly bodies bom of Poieidon, 
the Nereids and Oceanides* 

* ApoUod. iiL 5. 6. 5. 

' In the war of Erecthens against Emnolpns, Poseidon appears at variance with 
himself; but the sonrce of the apparent contradiction is the pantheistic versatility of 
Erecthens who, as destroyer of Immaradns, becomes for a time the homicidal Ares. 
' Pherecyd. Stars, p. 165. Gomp. Steph. Bys. art M«^r«v^ 
' niad, V. 890. " Iliad, zr. 127. ApoUod. i. 6. 8. 10 ; iii. 4. 1. 4. 

• Diod. 8. 1 16 ; t. 75. Hymn, Merc. 115. 128. Euseb. Pr. Ev. ii. 1. 


ftilness rising from the ground, the leading idea of the agrarian 
Felasgi*^ a power alternating between the upper and lower 
world, between life and death. Hence his emblem of the phal- 
lus ", the wooden image said to have fallen from heaven into 
the marriage chamber of Semele'', and according to one etymo- 
logy his name*'. Hence, too, the greater part of his official 
fdncUons ; for instance, his leading Proserpina to the light of 
day, borne by golden horses, his reanimating Pelops and even 
Zeus, his carrying the infant Dionysus to be nursed by the 
Hyades '^ or to the assembly of the gods ^'. He gave the lyre 
to ApoUo and Amphion, the sword to Hercules, but he con- 
cealed the herds of the sun at nightfall ^' in. the land of Pluto 
(Pylus), and his name signifies fate or death ". His worship 
properly belongs to the ancient seats of the Pelasgi in Arcadia, 
Attica, Bceotia, and the ^gean Islands. The ithyphallio 
Hermes, the first of Gicero^', derived, according to Hero- 
dotus *^ fix)m the Pelasgian founders of the mysteries of Samo- 
thrace, is virtually Zeus ; he is father and husband of Nature, 
the demiurgus who woos Minerva at Athens '^ marries Har- 
mony (or Harma) in Bceotia *S or as lasus aspires to the hand 
of Demeter ^. As presiding over the commencement and close 
of the sun's career, and consequently placed at the entrance of 

** " Der Gh>tt eines ackerbanenden Volkes, agrariBclien wesens, wie alle(?) Gotta: 
der Pelaager und alle frilheBte Helleniache Religion auf diewn Boden waneln.''— 
Ydlcker, Japetns, p. 79. Oomp. Hesiod, " Works,** 236. 

" The " Cyllflxiiaii God," " KvXAvwm 4ynnt ^uXnTi," Pana. Ti 26. 8. Ludan, 
Honst. ToL ii. p. 690. 

»« Paufc ix. 12. 8. 

*' From tf, earth ; art. " Hermes" in Ersch and Gruber's Encyclopaedia. 

^* Apollod. iii. 4. 

** Pans. iii. 18. The " Oim t^utrnt" are identical with ** Bt$t ;e^«MM," the Ctho- 
nian power being author of wealth, ** TLX»»r»iTfitr Nicander in Anton. Liber. 
£ftb. 25. Soph. Inachua. SchoL Aiiatoph. Pint 727. Bans, 479. 

>• Horn. H. T. 18. " Aach. Choeph. 612. 

" N. D. iii. 22. >• ii. 51. Lennep to Hea. Th. 927. 

^ Pana. i. 17; iv. 26. Cic. N. D. p. 604. Creua. 

^> Comp. MuUer, Kl. Schrift. ii. 88. Plntaich, Pelop. 19. 

^ Diod. S. ▼. 49. Dion. Hal. L 61. Hea. Theog. 970. Oomp. the laaoa, aon 


the Olympio stadium^ emblematio of the diaulic race*course of 
the heaTens^', he anticipates the offices of Apollo and Hercules. 
Hercules, who partly identical^ with Ares, guardian like 
Hermes of the equivocal golden ram ^, is made subordinate 
to the ancient Pelasgian deity 'in the tradition of his being 
sold by Hermes to Omphale. The sacred marriage of Hermes 
with Hecate, Herse, or Persephone^, is the great mystery of 
his worship. It was celebrated in the Zerynthian Cavern at 
Samothrace", where the god bore the several names of Saos, 
£ro% Himeros, or Axieros'*, as also at Lemnos andlmbros'*; 
islands whose aborigines were Thracian, and it may have been 
a divinity undisdngnishable from the Thracian equivalent of 
Hermes alluded to by Herodotus *^, who, represented as ithy- 
phallio on an Imbrian coin *\ gives a significant hint in Homer 
of his ultimate identity with Ares and Hephffistus '*. But He- 
phiBStus> too, is a representative of Zeus. The fire which Pro* 
metheus took from him in ^schylus, is in reality stolen from 
Zeus;** the son of heaven or Here, father or husband of 
Athene*^, is the demiurgic power theologicaUy parallel both 
with Zeus and Prometheus '*, and the supreme parent in the old 

of " SpbelnB Bncolides," leader of the Atheniam in the Iliad, xv. 887 ; (Hermei- 
Strophaensl) Note to AriBtopb. Plutiu, t. 1158. 

» FUf. T. 14. 6 ; Till. 82. Schd. Pind. OL yi 129. 

^ Serv. to Viig. Mil 275. 285. ^ Comp. Fans. iz. 22. 1. 

« Apollod. iii 14. 8. Schol. Lycophr. 680. 

* Comp. Paul. t. 19. 2 ; x. 82. 2. Sacred mamaget, as those of Oroniis and 
Bhea, Hereoles and Bchidna, Bacchus and Ariadne, iBneas and Dido, &c., gene- 
nSij took place within the earth, i, e, '*sf rmr^t yXmfv^t,** Anton. lib. 19. 
Porphyr. de Antro. 

* Schol. Apollon. i. 917. Dion. H. i. 68. Died. S. t. 48. 

** Notes to Lyoophr. Oassandr. 162. Steph. y. Imbros. Welcker, Tiflogie, p. 
217; comp. 207, 208. 

» Comp. Tacit Qerm. 9. CsBsar, B. iz. 6. 17. Dindorf to Aristoph. Lysistrat. 
940. Eittcr, Vorhalle Europ. Geschichte, 877. Wodan or Odin, Bhoodh, Bato, 
Bden, Dens, Bt§i, 

*^ Welcker, Trilogie, 218. *" Odyss. yiii. 842. 

** Hes. Works, 51. *« J. Fiimicos, p. 20. Cic N. D. iii. 22. 

^ AboTe described as a predicate of Hermes. Comp. Lyd. de Hens. 244. Roth. 
Apollod. L 8. 6. iBschyL Bom. 18. Prom. 89. Muller, Orchom. 447. 


Attic Trinity •• was afterwards imagined to have stolen '^ the 
emblems which he really possessed in his own right. The 
Titanic torch-bearer; represented under his heroic aspect as 
adversary of Zeus, resembles Ares**, enemy of Dionysus, bound 
like himself during thirteen generations or moons '*^ and bound, 
acGoi:ding to some accounts, to the same ancient symbol, the 
post or pillar ^°, which eventually became a golden staff in the 
hands of the official minister and representative of Zeus. The 
Hermetic pillar, fatal to Atys and Pentheus (infelix arbor), but 
the birth-place or tree of life to Osiris and Dionysus, is the 
integral divinity comprising the two Dioscuri*', whose sacred 
wood was wrought by the Corinthians into the twin deities of 
their forum**. This ancient symbol, which under a rude shape 
comprised a rich and extensive meaning, was the original 
emblem of Dionysus*', whose phallic worship is said to have 
been introduced by Cadmus**, thus blending in one form the 
several names of the old Pelasgian divinity i^gregated in the 
Homeric hymn as "Hermes," and contrasted with the more 
heroic attributes of the Hellenic Apollo. The religion of na- 
ture requires a congenial spirit for its interpretation, and in 
attempting to correct and arrange the confused accounts of 
antiquity, both ancient and modem criticism has often suc- 
ceeded only in making its most beautifdl conceptions contra- 
dictory and unmeaning. Little is gained by thinking with the 

^ Schol. OSdip. Colon. 55. Plat. Oritias, 109. The aacred marriage of Hermet- 
Prometheiu is repeated in that of Jaaon and Hypsipyle, Hermes and Eupolemia (Ap. 
Rh. i. 55), Ulyisei-Hermes and Penelope (Lycophr. 772. Cic N. I), iii. 22), Zeiia- 
GadmuB and Semele or Harmonia, Paris aod Helena, Agamenmon and Chryseis^ 
Aigns-Hermes and Ismene, Bardanus and Arisbe, lasos and Demeter, &c. 

^ Since life and all its goods are, as it were, a loan, or a scanty portion plundered 
by the dexterity of man from the upper or under world, from the fire of Zeut or the 
treasury of Srginus. 

» Soph. (Bd. Tyr. 192. » juad, y. 887. fischyL Prom. 799. 

*^ Max. Tyr. yiii. 8. Apollod. i. 9. 16. 5. Clem. Alex. Prot. iv. 46. p. 40, Pott 
Plutarch, Rom. 12. Liyy, xxir. 10. Anl. Gell. ir. 6. Comp. Pales, or Palos. Diod. 
S. ii. 43. Cieuz. S. iU. 885. 684. 

*» Pind. Nem. x. 115. " Pans. ii. 2. 

" Paus. ix. 12. 3. ** Herod, ii. 49. 


author of a recent work^' that the '^great gods of Samothrace" 
were in reality little or subordinate gods^ and we mistake the 
nature of the problem when perplexed by such seeming contra- 
dictions as the confounding of Gabiri or Dioscuri^ or their 
variety of names, as Dardanus and lasion^, Zeus and Diony- 
SU83 Hermes Camillus and Hephaestus. It has been said that 
one great employment of a speculatiye age is to bring to light 
and to connect the confused trains of thought which passed 
through men's minds in the most unenlightened times *^, and 
the mythologist has in the same manner to translate into intel- 
ligible language those rapid transitions which in antiquity con- 
nected the ramifications of a complex conception^ and which 
even the inventors, if questioned, would probably not have 
been able distinctly to explain. The gods of Greece are so 
fixed and personified in its poetry as ahnost entirely to conceal 
their essential generality of character ; but in proportion as we 
approach the Asiatic sources of Greek ideas and population, or 
in any way indeed extend our view beyond the limits of the 
epic circle, the gods, or the humanised beings representing 
them, become more complex, multiform, and independent, until 
at last all the mysteries and contradictions of genealogies sink 
into the one mystery of Pantheism. Thoas, Jason, like the 
Dis-iEsculapius of Sinope^^ are pantheic symbols out of whom 
all the dramatic variety of Greek religion might be developed ; 
Hercules, consort of the Scythian Echidna, is in possession of 
the bow, the bulls, and the horses of Apollo ^, and the sea- 
faring Jason is at once the water-god and the telluric power 
(lasion), husband of Demeter and of Here. The name gene- 
rally considered as corresponding with the supreme God of the 
Thracians, Celts, and Teutons ^^ was in Greece specifically the 

** Smith's Dictionaiy of Mythology, yoL i. p. 528. 

^ AthensB, ziy. 661. *^ J>. Stewart, Philos. H. M. ch. u. 

«• Tadt Hitt iv. 84. "* Herod, iv. 8, 9. 

** Hennei, Ami, or Hercnriiu. '* Wodan, quern adjectiL litteriL Gnodan dixemnt, 
ipse eat qui apud Bomanos Hercorins didtnr, et ab uniyenuB GermanuB gentibui ut 
Deua adorator; qui non atek hnc tempera eed loDgianterim nee in Germaniii aoliim 


mystic or agrarian power personated by Hermes in the earlier 
books of the Iliad '^ more dimly seen in the wise Ulysses of 
the Odyssey, who provides treasures in the underworld pre- 
paratory to his return ^^ and more characteristically in the 
Boeotian Cadmus, a designation which, whatever else it might 
include, was primarily that of an indigenous god *', the Cabirus 
associated with Demeter at Thebes ^, who, through the trans- 
formations of poetry or poetical feeling became a hero or hu- 
man founder, ancestor of the Theban as of the Thradan kings. 
From Boeotia the Tyrrhenian Pelasgians are said to have emi- 
grated to the banks of tiie Gephissns '*, where the ancient altar 
of the Academy joined Hephnstus with Prometheus'*, and from 
these emigrants it is said that Athens derived its phallic Her- 
mes, and the legend associating him with Brimo-Persephone or 
Athene. The same people, according to Herodotus, gave to 
Samothrace the sacra elsewhere said to have been introduced 
by Dardanus from Arcadia'^; these sacra were a virtual epi- 
tome of Greek religion '^ a gift of mingled love and hate, either 
bestowed as a marriage gift by Athene, or fedling from heaven 
at the combat of the Giants, or during the stolen intercourse 
of Zeus with Electra. Zeus by Maia was father of Hermes, 
by Electra of lasion and Dardanus, the latter being only a 
subdivision of the son of Maia into two Cabiri'* ; and it is im- 
material whether the separation originated among the Pelas- 
gians of Asia or Arcadia, whether Dardanus went from Troas 

Bed in GnsciSL fmMe perhibetnr.'* — P. Wamefnd de Gest Loogobard. Uckert's 
Qermania, p. 238. 

•I «« Ef i#w»«#f ," " i«0Tt^ ttuit;* " rtnff.** " Odyas. xix. 288 ■'. 

** HlUler, Kleine Schrifi iL 83. Orchom. 113. 458, hut ed. SehoL Lycoplir. 
219. GoUling (to Hesiod^ Theog. 987) notices the emphatic jvzti^Mintioii of 
Hennes and Oa^lmnii. 

** Paof. ix. 25. 5, 6. Comp. ix. 22. 5. 

» MiiUer, Orchom. 434. Kleine Sehrift. 84. 45. Herod. iL 51—5. 64. In 
another accoimt the lacra were brought from Athens to Thebes by Methaput. Pans, 
iy. 1. 5; ix. 25. 5. 

» Strabo, ix. 401. ^ Dion. HaL i. 68. 

<• Mailer, Orchom. 448. ^* Schol. Apollon. i. 917. 



to SaxQothraoe or from Samothrace to Troas. Each tribe was 
disposed to consider the kindred notions of others as derivatiye 
firom its own, and to place its own conceptions and gods at the 
head of all siinilar storieis and genealogies. Nor did the con- 
tradictions which ensued lead to any serious uncertainty or 
hostility, ibr the worship of nature generally tended to promote 
a spirit of amity, its comparisons produced agreement rather 
than alienation, the oriental claimed only a deeper acquaint- 
ance with the mysteries of Asclepius than the Greek anti- 
quary*^ and Herodotus did not dream of any personal dis- 
tinction between his own Zeus or Hephaestus and the deities 
whom, under different names, he saw worshipped in Egypt. 
With the same freedom the names of the Oabiri were variously 
rendered as Demeter, Hades, Persephone, Gasmilus-Hermes ; 
or Hephsstus and Cabiro, or the Zerynthian Aphrodite, en- 
gendering Gasmilus; or Zeus, Aphrodite, and Dionysus; or 
Heaven, Minerva, and Earth '\ The most ancient Greek reli- 
gion was the idea of Nature passing through the alternations of 
love and strife, of life and death, represented under various 
symbols of physical opposition and family association. The 
sacred legend of Dardanus, son of Zeus and father of Erich- 
thonius, richest of mortals ^^ is the type of many similar genea- 
logies, as that in which Flutus was bom of Geres by lasion, 
Eudorus of Hermes by Folymele, whom he met at the festival 
of the great goddess Artemis^ ; that of Folydorus, the '' first 
worshipper " of the Gadmean Dionysus '^ from Gadmus and 
Haimonia, and lastly, of Dionysus from Zeus. The derivation 
of Dardanus from Arcadia was probably founded on the local 
prominence of ancient Hermes-worship, and the legends in 
which Hermes, Pan, and Atlas seemed to converge and become 
identified. The rustic music of the Nomian god may represent 
the Pelasgian strain which preceded the invention of the lyre, 

*» Pta». vii 28. •» Vano in Anguatm De Civ. D. vii. 28. 

" niad, XX. 216. •' IL xri 178. Oomp. Hymn, Vcn. 118. 

«« Faut. ix. 12. 8; xri 3. 


and the means employed by Hermes to close the hundred eyes 
of night (Afyeifovrm) were the same oosmical harmonies which 
made Theseus forget the sleeping Ariadne '^ and by which 
Osiris subdued the world*'. The murdered Argus is Hermes 
Gynocephalus wooer of Hecate^ antithetical to the illuminated 
hemisphere^, the faithfiil dog who expired at the return of 
Ulysses, the brother or mythical coordinate of Cerberus, in 
possession of Atlas *^ Atlas, the explorer of divine and human 
things ••, whose knowledge "pierced the ocean depths," ^' who, 
like Cadmus, Jason, and many other objects of ancient Pelas- 
gian worship, became in his human dress a wanderer, navigator, 
and astronomer, and thus a sort of Titanic hero who, in the 
subsequent economy of Zeus, bore the pillars of heaven at the 
horizon of the world ^^ resembles, in many respects, his grand- 
son Hermes; he is first of sages ^^ first teacher of the seven- 
stringed lyre", ancestor of Homer and Hesiod'*. As famiUar 
with the heavenly constellations ^*, he resembles the sethereal 
Zeus Uranus; representing Prometheus as husband of Hesione 
or Axiothea, and standing before Zeus in the genealogy of 
Hermes and Dardanus. On the other hand he is placed, like 
Hermes, at the extreme limit of earth and heaven ^', guarding 
the apples of the Hesperides, the treasures of the underworld; 
his gardens ^^ are as the pastures of Geryon, or the cave of 
Cacus", the tomb of the baffled suitors of Hippodamia^^ as of 

*' SchoL Theocr. ii. 45. ^ Isis and Onris, 18. 

•7 Isaac VoisiuB de Idol. p. 190. • SchoL ApoUon. iy. 1S99. 

• Paui. ix. 20. 8. '<> Comp. Horn. H. Ceree, 69. 

^» Comp. Prom, ^acliyl. 846. Herod, iy. 184. Hes. Theog. 749. Plutarch, 
Isii and Osiris, 44. The epithet " •x-p^m,'* in Homer, is supposed to be the moral- 
ising Torsion of the physical attribute " Cthonian." H. D. H'dUer, " Ares," p. 66'. 

" Diog. L. Pr. 1. w Ser^, to Mtl i. 746 ; viiL 184. 

T* Soidas, V. Henod. '* Virg. -fin. L 741. 

»• Burip. Hippol. 737. 

^ The Sun is always described as having a "garden" in the place of his retire- 
menti as well as stables and pastures for his horses ; hence the gardens of Midas, of 
Phoebus among the Hyperboreans (Soph. Frag. 98), the town "Kepos" on the 
Tauric Bosphorus (Uckert, Skythien, 491). 

'^ Pherecyd. Stunt., p. 183. Didot, 33'. '• Paus. vi. 21. 6. 


those of Penelope, the treasury of the past, or rather the deposi- 
tory of " yesterdays to come." He is there Polydegmon or Poly- 
dectes^ both Pluto and Plutus, or Eurypylus, the "wide-gated," 
the " all-receiving " grave •**. Hermes, too, is a C thonian Zeus " ; 
he is the oracular Trophonius•^ the wealihy Erichthonius, the 
buried iEpytus*'; he is Polybus, husband of Polyboia or 
Merope (t. g. Sisypus), and "lord of many flocks" (Phorbas 
Polymelus) *^, both descendant and ancestor of Argus. He 
comprises the three heroes*' said to have met beneath the lofty 
towers of Pheneos'', whose legends indicate the diffiision of his 
worship from Troas to Latium". 

The issue of the sacred union of Dardanus with Chryse- 
Hecate, of Hephaestus with Aphrodite or Athene, lasion with 
Demeter, or Hermes with all of them, had the character of the 
fetal dowry of the Palladium ; it was sometimes harmony and 
fertility (Triptolemus, Eros, Polydorus), sometimes enmity and 
barrenness ; for the rape of Helen was repeated in the disas- 
trous abduction of Ohryseis by Agamemnon, and the incest of 
Thyestes ", the remote origin of the woes of the Atrid», was 
itself only an iteration of the outrage offered by Hermes-Myr- 
tilus to Hippodamia "*. Pelops, the favoured of Poseidon, 
builder of the first temple of Hermes ^y and who received from 
him the celebrated sceptre made by Hephsstus for Zeus, under- 

•• H. Ceren. 81. 

*> Soph. (Bd. Colon. 1668. Ajax, S82. Mkhyh Pen. 598. Chdeph. I 110. 
Bothe. Qnigniant, voL iL 684". 

" Stnbo, iz. 414. Cic N. D. iii. 22. 

■* Hermes-Apytus at Tegea. Pans. Tiii. 47. 8. Pind. OL vi. 54. 188. Iliad, 
iL604. Theocrit Id. L 125. 

•* ApoUod. iL 5. 5. 1. Iliad, ziy. 490; zziii 660. Pani. iL 16; viL 26. 
JUgen to Hymn, Pytli. ApolL 88. 

^ Bvander, Anchiaes, and Priam. Viig. Mm viii. 165. 

•• Paof. TiiL 15. 7. 

*^ Bvaader, son of Hermos or of Priam (Apollod. iiL 12. 5. 18), by Mua or Car- 
menta, was perhapi a predicate (" ll^«*)(«r ") of the good geniui of Italy. Anchifes 
waa buried between Hantinea and Orchomenoi. 

" Hermes-Criophoms. PauB. ii. 18. 2. 

** Bchol. Oreit Bnrip. 802. 1565. ^ Pant. t. 1. 5. 


-went the death of nature, for Demeter, maddened hy the loss of 
her daughter {i. q. Demeter Erinnys), devoured his shoulder, 
and afterwards, either herself or through the intervention of 
Hemes, raised him in renewed beauty from the ground. His 
subsequent story reflecting that of the Olympic g^ames, told 
how CEnomaus, king of Pisa, a son of Ares by the Pleiad Aste- 
rope 'S or of Hermes or Atlas '^ had been warned by the oracle 
that his daughters marriage would be fatal to himself; and 
that, deeming himself invincible in the chariot race, he made it 
a condition that every suitor for the hand of Hippodamia who 
should unsuccessfully compete with him should suffer death. 
The race, which was from Pisa to the altar of Poseidon at the 
isthmus, took place at the vernal equinox, when, as each suitor 
started, CEnomaus offered up a ram ^ to Zeus, aild following 
with his unconquered horses, like Ulysses following Diomed 
with a drawn sword during the night retreat from Troy with 
the Palladium *^ struck down many of the pretenders; nntil at 
length Pelops bribed his charioteer, M3rrtilus, a son of Hermes 
by Proserpine**, who, either by drawing a nail from the chariot 
wheel ^, or by substituting, as in the case of Icarus, a waxen 
one, caused CEnomaus to be thrown out and killed. Pelops, 
like the talisman made from his bones, was a genius of ruin as 
well as of conservation. A new train of misfortunes arose from 
the death of Myrtilus*', whom he threw into the sea in revenge 
for the characteristic insult of the ithyphaUic deity perpetrated 
by the repetition of himself; for Hippodamia is either Perse- 

** He is said to haye sacrificed to Zens " Aiens." Pans. t. 14. 5. 

« Serv. Rtl TiiL 180. 

*3 The same victim was sacrificed to Pelops (Pani. v. 18. 2), to Hermes, to Ares 
(Zeus Aieins or Laphystiiu). 

** EustathioB to XL x. 531, p. 822. Oomp. Odyss. viiL 518. 

*^ Or of Glymene and ZeuB. Schol. Orest Bur. 995. He is the itIiypliaUic 
Hermes with the " myrtle " boughs. Snpr. 214. 

** The Romans marked the years by driving a nail at the anniversary of the 
equinox ; the defective nail in the wheel may be the break in the round of time. 

*' Soph. Elec. 508. 


phone-Chlori8'^ who^ borne in the chariot of Pelops as it were 
in that of Plato (Hennes Gthonius), received divine honours at 
Olympia^; or she is Demeter^ whose forced embrace by the 
autumnal '* horse" annually brings forth Chloris out of Hades ^^. 
The grave of Myrtilus was preserved at Fheneos in the sanc- 
tuary of Hermes ^'S and his father avenged his death by send- 
ing the golden lamb^ which became the source of hate between 
Atreus and Thyestes. From the incest of Thyestes sprung the 
goat-suckled ^gisthus^''^ who repeated the ancient round of 
love and strife in the seduction of Glytemnestra, and the double 
murder of Atreus and Agamemnon. His honied words pre- 
vailedy when the ftithfdl servant of the muse^^'^ appointed to 
guard the queen, had been exiled, and as if on the accomplish- 
ment of a fiooB work, he offered a solemn sacrifice to the gods 
for his success '°^. His own murder by Orestes was a fatality as 
inevitable and guiltless ^^' as that of his predecessor, or those 
other mythical homicides, such as that of CEdipus, or the 
archetypal bloodshed for which Ares was acquitted on the 
ancient hill of his worship by verdict of the twelve Gods. He 
was slain on the " eighth " year, the termination of the annus 
magnus '^, the Gthonian God, the antetype of himself, approv- 
ing and authorising the deed ^®^. 

In this way the acts and persons of gods and men were con- 

•• Volcker, Japetoa, 855. 861. *• Faai. tL 20. 10 ; 21. 1. 

*^ On Heimet in oonnexion with Powidon ytn^tn, see Creni. 8. iiL 495. 

»' Pani. vi. 20. 8 ; viil 14-7. 

*^ Apollod. L 6. 8. 10. JEgipan, or Hezmes in Capricorn. 

i« In the compaet of Hermes with Apollo, the lyre was definitiTely consigned to 
the ruler of the haimoniei of the upper world. Comp. Hes. Theog. 80. Pind. Pyth. 
i 22 sq. Soph. Antig. 695. Eurip. Aloest 854. Plut liis and Osiris, ch. 18, 
14, and 54. Diod. S. L 17. 

^ 0dys& iii. 264. 

^ lb. i. 298. 2sch. ChSeph. 897. Comp. Soph. (Ed. Colon. 267. 

>» Comp. Odyss. iil 806 ; iv. 82 ; ylL 261. Virg. JEn. L 755 ; t. 46. Suidas, 
Toc Kadmos. On the Octoeteris Comp. Hoeck, Kreta, L p. 247 ; ii. p. 120. Cen- 
nrinus de Die Nat xriii p. 93. Hiiller, Orchomenos, 218 sq. 

*^ JRmL Chdeph. I 611. 800. 897. 


founded, and the adventures of the princes of Boeotia, Attica, 
and Peloponnesus became a repetition of the legends of their 
most ancient deity. To the author of the Homeric catalogue 
the tomb of Hermes-^pytus seemed of sufficient importance 
to be named as one of the principal characteristics of Arcadia. 
Areas, son of Gallisto, daughter of Lycaon by Zeus"*, was com- 
mitted by his &ther to Maia or Hermes to educate^^', being 
probably himself an equivalent of his foster £Blther"^ and the 
guardianship, like that of Athene, an expedient to account for 
the paradoxical connection of the mortal and the god. The 
character of Supreme Being filled on the Oyllenian hill by 
Hermes- Atlas, was on the Lycsean "Olympus" occupied by 
Pan, the "homed Zeus,"*" who, properly belonging to the 
first order of gods"', was placed by Herodotus on a lower level 
and at a later date as a provincial innovation, partly perhaps on 
the pragmatical ground of accounting for his being a son of 
Penelope"'. But Pan, the son of Penelope, is also a son of 
Hermes, of Zeus, and of Uranus "^. He is but another type 
of the issue of the universal marriage of the ubiquitous power 
with Maia, Persephone, or Penelope ; who, as Zeus by the bear 
Gallisto became father of the Arcadians, and who again as Pan 
or Hermes was allied with Persephone or Athene "^ One 
simple idea pervades all the infinite diversity of local forms. 
The rapidity of thought fiEur outstrips the resources of language, 
and a difference of name is compatible with similarity of cha- 
racter, just as different conceptions may be included under one 
name. The Cabin are either two, three, or four, that is, a 
dualism subordinate to a trinity, engendering again a new 
divinity, Hermes- Cadmus, who, standing alone, represents the 
first Omnipotence, or united with Harmonia repeats the dualism 

»« Paufc viiL 4. 1. »«• ApoUod. iii 8. 2. 

"« Virg. J&n, Tiii 188. Serv. to Tcnc 180. 

"1 Orph. H. 10. 12. Faunua Bicomis. 

1" PauB. Yiii. 87. 8. Hymn, Pan. 5. "' Ghiigniant, iii. 16J>. 

"« lb. pp. 152. 166. ApoUod. L 4. 1. *" Cxwis. 8. iiL 402 ; ir. 67. 


of his parents, giying birth to Eudorus in Aroadia, to Froventus 
at Eleusis. Whoever be assumed as head, whether Hephaestus, 
Hermes, or Ares, all ultimately coincide and identify as one the 
many husbands of Venus-Proserpina, the parentage of Nature, 
of com and wine, the discovery of fire"*, or again the various 
claims to bear the sceptre of death, the torch of day or night. 
In the more modem and popular language of Hellas, the con- 
verging point of all these diversified aspects would be expressed 
by the name " Zeus." The characteristics of the God of Na- 
ture are not obscurely marked in the legendary history of Zeus 
himself, in the symbols of his birth, amours and victories, in 
the symbolical accounts of the rise of Athene out of his head, 
of Dionysus from his thigh, and in the' oracular prediction of 
his downfall ^". But the fluctuating character of the physical 
deity was gradually forgotten when the poetical religion became 
pemianently established on a moral basis. If the Being who 
died at Naxos as Butes, as Orpheus in Thrace, or (Enopion at 
Chios"', became immortal in Dionysus, if Hyacinthus lived for 
ever in Apollo***, or iBpytus in Hermes, it was still more 
necessary, when physical notions became subordinate to moral, 
that supreme sovereignty should have an unchanging repre- 
sentative in Zeus*^. 


Polytheism was a practical analysis of monotheism ; the many 
gods, like the variety of languages, were derived by the involun- 

. "• Hymn, Mere. 111. 

"7 Hef. Th. 892. J£>chyl. Prom. 505. 885. Comp. Pkto, PoUticiif, 269 (278). 
GdttHng ad Theog. 927. 

»»• Pani. Tii. 5. "• Pans. iu. 1. 8. 

^ " E» Am fim^t^mt," Hes. Th. 96. " Ant** trmvrtt tifim^iXutt jmi) Sim Xtynrtu, 
Tieties, Lye. Gaaiandxa, 1194. " Atuw, r« m^t»§» Mm) fit^wtXtun" Hennias to Plato, 
Phaedmi, mriii. 252. " Zens, r« ^tXutn nmi xfurwf rmt r«v Armtrin f »n«^/' 
Alex. Aphrodisienns to Ariiiot. Metaph. ziii. 4. 

VOL. I. T 


tary operation of many minds oat of the One, whose personifica- 
tions may be made as numerous as the tokens of his presence^; 
and the denial of a primitive monotheism 'may have arisen fit)m 
unwillingness to confound the glimmering consciousness of 
nnity with the deliberate conviction of it, or firom too proud an 
estimate of the superiority of the philosopher to the savage in 
a problem where both are almost equally at fault. The deity 
works simultaneously in heaven, earth, and sea'; he is first of 
architects, navigators, and musicians; for his knowledge is oo* 
extensive with his ubiquity, comprising all the parts of space, 
and all the forms of thought But worship always adopts a 
certain form, and of the many forms or symbols of the divine, 
one of the most ancient and general was that of the Sun> 
which, among later personifications, was most nearly repre- 
sented in Apollo. For in the building of the walls of Troy, and 
the destruction of the Qrecian rampart by the same two powers, 
it is impossible not to recognise the working of the two great 
creative and destructive elements; and the slaughter of the 
twelve^ children of Niobe by the twin offspring of Latona, as 
pointedly represents the death of the twelve months under the 
influence of sun and moon^. Yet Ares, Hermes, Hercules^ 

' AXX«y 1/ mXXmt itrmfun ri tun tn^yumt tTMtVfMf ij^ti. lambL Myst. VuL 8, 
p. 159, and note. 

' Thirlwall's Greeoe, ch. yi. •. 8. 

» Viig. Q«org. iv. 221. Hes. Theog. 972. 

* Poseidon challenges Apollo in the Iliad, (BostathiuB, p. 1196. 1245,) probably 
for the same, or a similar reason, as that which made him contend with Helioa at 
Corinth, (Pans. iL 1. 6 ; iL 4. 6,) or with Minerva at Athens, (comp. Bxatoathenxs 
Oatast. 24. Plutarch, De Defect Oiac. 7 and 42 ; and de Ei Delph. 4. Pant. tiL 
28. 6. Gallimachi Fragm. 48. Strabo, xiv. 685,) and the feitaval of ApoUo, the 
Thargelia, is also that of Heliot. (Schol Aristoph. Bqnit. 729. Plat 1054. MUller, 
(Eleine Schriften, ii. 16,) makes it a qaestion why, if Apollo were originafly the 
Sun, the prsB-Alexandiine writers had so entirely forgotten it This, howoTer, does 
not appear to be the case, (comp. Lobeck Aglaoph. p. 79,) althougb, the peraonifica- 
tion "[Helios'* being retained, Apollo's character, as Sun-God, would, of course, ba 
less prominent Yet, though disguised in the conyentional or "Epic" system, the 
original symbolism is seen in the general significancy of his attributes, in his plagoe- 
spreading arrows, his beautiful hair, his pasturing the berds of Admetos and Laome 
don, his wieldmg the iSgis, his winter retreat to Lycia or the Hyperboreaaa, and 


Dionysas^ Sec,, were also sun-gods; they shared the solar em- 
blems of the dazzling orb^, the golden cup, the tripod, and the 
lyre. The true Apollo is said to have been originally Dorian; 
but we know from the best testimony, that of Homer, Plato, 
and Aristotle^, that a sun-god was generally worshipped by the 
most ancient Greeks^. Diversified rites whose emblematic 
meaning have been laboriously explored attest the univer- 
sality of a solar or astral fetichism ; the foot and chariot race, 
the hurling of the discus, &c., mimicked the sun s diurnal 
course, and his subterranean passage was expressed by the noc- 
turnal torch of Demeter, HephsBStus, or Dionysus, ^gialus 
and ^geon, the Poseidon of the lonians and Achseans', is only 
member of a dualism, for the same tribes worshipped a sun- 
god*, bom of fire or of water, occasionally drowned or cast into 
the sea to float within an ark, and afterwards emerging as 
Tennes, Dionysus, or Perseus, on the coast which was to be 
the scene of his worship ^^. The name Hellen, the eponymous 
hero or deity of the JSolians, often used interchangeably with 
that of Apollo or Zeus", may possibly itself be only an appel- 
lative of the Sun or Helios, in a shorter form^', a denomina- 
tion which seems to have accompanied the Pelasgians from 

particiilarly in the embleniAtic staff of the Daphnephoria (Miiller, Orchom. 215. 
ProeluB in Photias, 989 (or 525). Pans. z. 10, and in the fiiciUty with which his 
name absorbed and incorporated those of all other Sun-Gods. 

» Orph. H. jL 11. Frag. 7. Pind. Pyth. i. 19. 

' Gomp. Phito, Laws, z. 2. ^ Gomp. iBsch. Ghdeph. 971. 

* Adueans, "sons of the waters"] from ach, aqua, aqnosos, aquitania; hence 
Achilles, Achefoos, &c. MiUler, Mythol. p. 230, Transl. 

* The Delian Apollo, established in the Cyclades by the colony of Nelens or Po- 
■eidon, whither sacred embassies oontinned to be sent from their original home. 
Pans. iv. 4. 1. Hoeck, Kreta, ii. 129. 

'* Oic. N. D. iiL 15. Tsetses to Lycophron, 870. Pans. iii. 24. 8. Apollod. iL 

" Comp. Apollod. i. 7. 8. and 6. Pans. t. 8. Bnripid. Hehinippe, Frag. 2. 
Ion. 68. Pind. Pyth. iy. 191. Hes. Frag. Gottling, 29. 

" From Ujf, splendour. Helios, son of Perseus, founds the city Helos. Apollod. 
iL 4. 5. Strabo, TiiL 859, a name often occurring in places where the derivation 
from tXof, a marsh, is inapplicable. MUller, Orchom. 50. 

T 2 


their remote dwelling in Hellopia in Thesprotia, the country of 
the Helli or Selli, and to have been shared by the Hyllsans and 
IllyrianB*'. Earth and Apollo-Helios were parents of the 
Tritopatores^ the progenitors of the Attic Demi^^ so that this 
Sun-Apollo became the ancestral deity or first term in Ionian 
genealogy". Ion, husband of the moon '*, the eponym of what 
was once an unimportant tribe of ^gialea^^, is himself the 
god of light, or ApoUo-Xuthi^s", brought up in his own Del- 
phian temple, at whose presence, in the Attic poet^ the son 
breaks forth: 

** *0 ymytfitrmf )«^Mr 0tnurt 

while Dorus and Achaeus are placed by this authority in an in- 
ferior rank as sons of the mortal father**. The whole mytho- 
logy of Greece confutes the yiew*^ which would oppose its 
religion as a mere fetichism of stocks, stoiles, or animals with 
the symbolical star worship of Asia. Throughout its stories 
and genealogies, the elements and every part of Nature are in 
dramatic action, and in relationship to man. These legends, 
which in their primitiye form may be called Orphic or Cabiric, 
and which were preserved in comparative purity at Thebes, 
Samothrace, or Eleusis, became disguised, yet not altogether 
lost, by being incorporated with heroic poetry'*. We still 
see the offspring of Thetis contending against ihe sons of 
ApoUo'*; the sons of fire in Thessaly are at war with the 

" MtLUer, Dor. i. 14. *« Philochor. Fng. 2, Didot 

>• Cic. N. n. Oreaz. 695. 599. SchoL Axiitid. Fanath. 97, p. 28, Dindocf: Phto, 
Ettth7d..S02. Crens. S. ii 557. 

'« Helice. 

" Afterwardf Achaia. Herod, i. 148 ; til 94. Iliad, ii. 575. Pana. iii. 55. 

» Burip. Ion. 10. 41. 82. 1467. Pana. tu. 1. 

>* Ion. 1589. Comp. Enitath. to Odytt. x. 2. The Poanepiia, celebrated hj 
TheteuB on hia return from Crete, were, aooording to lome, in honour of Apollo, ac- 
cording to others of Helioi. 

^ B«ttiger'a. *' MUller, Orchom. .451. *■ Tennea, Hector, te; 


children of the mist^ (the Centaurs '*,) and the story is repeated 
in the secular feud of Ephyreans and Gyrtonians **, of Phle- 
gyans and Minyans^ Minyas '* descended from Poseidon heing 
head of a genealogy of infernal powers, such as Orohomenus'^ 
Erginus, the "gaoler," son of Clymenus-Hades", and Peri- 
olymene-Persephone**, who exacted a yearly tribute from the 
Thebans, until the latter were released by their champion Her- 
cules^. This genealogy is connected through Periclymene, as 
others through Alcestis, with that of Pheree in Thessaly'^ an- 
other site of Cthonian worship '^ where Apollo fed the flocks 
of Admetus, (Pluto Adamastos,) and again, through Ghloris 
with Neleus, (probably the " unrelenting,") king of Pylus in 
Triphylia, an eponym of the Power said to have been there 
wounded in a personal encounter with the Dorian Hercules, 
who served him as " Eurystheus " in Mycen®. 

In almost all these legends, it is noticeable that the God of 
the lower world is a compound of Poseidon and Hades '^ and 

** M'dller, Oichom. p. 192, speaks of the birth of Centaurs from Nephele and 
Izion as a late addition to the story ; but then whence came the horse form, and the 
name " Mf-rMr^," buU-slayers, unless from the ancient conception which made 
the wet season the destroyer of the dry, symbolised in the antithesis of horse and 
ball, the latter being the appropriate o£fering to Poseidon Hippius, hewn to pieces by 
the weird sisters in the temple of his subtelluric consort at Hermione. Com. Creuz. 8. 
IT. 202. " These sons of earth and heayen, of the douds, or of the springs and 
riyers, axe physical beings," says Crenzer, "personified under the common sym- 
bolical imagery of nature worship." 

** MiUler, Oichom. 188, 189. 

* Also a son of Ares, Helios, or Sisyphus. (Muller, Orchom. 182.) 
"{.«." Orcus," the wealthy, the rapacious, " Libitinse qusestus." Comp. Iliad, 

ix. 881. Soph. CBd. Tyr. 80. "Thesaurus Oxdnus." Aul. Gell. Noct. A. i. 24, 

^ from tt^ym, u e, Orens, Pluto, or Hermes Cthonius. MUller, Orchom. 149^ 4. 
The idea of Oxcns was that of a brasen prison, l^Mf . Hes. Th. 725. 

* Buttmann, die Minyss der altesten seit MythoL yol. iL p. 197. 200. 

* SchoL Theocrit. tyL 105. MUller, Orchom. 60. 178. 208. Eurip. Here 
Fnnos, 50. 220. 

^ Hyg. Fftb. 14. Schol. Alcestis Eur. 17. Oomp. MUller, Orchom. 251. 
" Mttller, nor. i 827, TransL 

** In the legend of the Demeter of Thelpusa and Phigalia (Pans. yiiL 42. 2), and 
as ftidier of the horse " Arion," Poseidon is eyidently confounded with Ares and 


when the PhsBacian children of Poseidon in Homer are said to 
have lived '' near to the Gods/' and to have been repeatedly 
visited by them, the poet seems indirectly to tell us that the 
original dwelling of these latter was not on Olympus, (the up- 
per world, '' Hypereia,") but partly, at least, in the under 
world of Minos, iEacus, and Rhadamanthus, the western 
bourne of the diurnal passage' of those alternate or ''Titanic" 
beings, among whom the father of Zeus, within a specified 
boundary stUl continued his ancient reign. The services of the 
antique Samian HersBum", founded, it was said, bytheLeleges, 
were significantly referred to ''Admete" daughter of Eurys- 
theus'^ as most appropriate minister of the Argive Goddess 
whose choicest gift was the sleep of death". The Arcadian 
Felasgi were said to have ^^ preserved" the old worship of their 
mysterious Demeter throughout all their revolutions'*; and in 
Eleusis, Thelpusa, in ahnost every part of Greece, the same 
Cthonian worship derived firom the Ante-Hellenic population "^ 
of which we have already observed traces in Hesiod, was more 
or less prevalent. It was commonly carried on in crypts or 
caverns, (/Meyafot and Pod^ot,) or in artificial adyta resembling them, 
treasuries of Atreus and Minyas, the marriage-chamber of 
Semele, Persephone, or Harmonia". The Demeter-Hercyna** 
of Lebadea presided over the oracle of Trophonius, reputed 
her nursling or her son, and, at Hermione, boys crowned with 
garlands of the woeful hyacinth led the procession of the epo- 
nymous Goddess^. The ceremony of descending to consult 
Trophonius is described in Pajisanias^^ with the preparatory 
drinking the waters of Lethe and Mnemosyne, the sacrifice of a 

Hades (Miiller, Eumenid. p. 199). Ares again becomes a sort of Typhon or Po- 
seidon, when metamorphosed into a fish in Bgypt. (Anton. Lib. 28.) 
» Pans. YiL 4. 4. »« Athense, xy. 672. »» Herod. L 81. 

* Herod. Y. 61. "^ Pans. iii. 18. 2. » BmpedocUs Fr. y. 488. 

* Miiller, Orchom. 189. 149, by whom ''Hercyna" is explained as "Orcina." 
Comp. the description of Tartarus as " l^tut " in Hesiod. Th. 725. 

^ "Gthonia." Preller, Demeter, p. 199. Hesych. toc. Hermione. PlBiis.ii. 
85. 8. Orph. Argonaut. 1140. 
*> ix. 39. 4. 


ram over a pit (" U 0o6^ov"**,) and the bathing by night in the 
river Hercyns. Triptolemus, Trophonius, lasion, are inferred 
by Mtiller^' to be correlated Beings connected with agriculture, 
and with the religious sentLment which from agricultural phe- 
nomena interpreted the harvest either as a theft won from the 
treasury of the under world, or as a boon to be bought only 
by an expiatory ceremony, such as that in which the daughter 
of Minyas gave her son to be torn in pieces by the Msenades, 
or in which some member of the Zeus-descended house of 
Athamas was devoted to purchase the favour of heaven to bless 
the ground^*. This telluric or agrarian character was, accord- 
ing toYolcker^, the basis of the aboriginal religion of the 
Pelasgi, most prominently exhibited in the symbols of Hermes- 
" Cthonius," and in those of the more retiring powers, Diony- 
sus and Demeter, a God or Goddess buried, or withdrawing to 
the shades, yet stUl esteemed the fountain of wealth and talis- 
man of safety. It continued longest in districts least dis- 
turbed by conquests and immigrations, as Attica and Arcadia, 
where the buried JErechtheus was propitiated with yearly sacri- 
fices of lambs and bulls ^, and where Felops or Myrtilus, who 
rabed the first temples to Hermes, were Othonian^^ Powers 
honoured even before Zeus*'. 

In the fertile Pelasgian plains of Argos, Eleusis, and Boeo- 
tia*^ inhabited by a race not yet Hellenic, the worship of De- 
meter, and of the dying and reviving Dionysus^^ was celebrated 
by the priestly races of Eumolpus, Tiresias, and Melampus, 
long before its fusion with the kindred Asiatic orgiasm of 
Sabazius and Oybele '^ giving rise to the greater portion of that 

^ Comp. Tietaes, Lycoph. 684. Od. xi. 25. 

« Orchom. 160. ** MuUer, Orohom. 160. 162. 

^ P. 861. 869 of hiB Japetus. ^ Iliad, ii. 660. 

*f Herculea lacrifioed to Pelops " tt /SW^/' Paus. y. 1. 16 ; t. 18. 1 and 2. 
« Schol. Piod. 01. i 149. Pans. Tiii. 14. 7. 

* Comp. the plmae "IIiAiM'yijMy ««!««*' in M&ller, Orchom. 120. AsiuB in 
Psoflan. viiL 1. Athens, ziy. 689. 
^ Pans. ii. 86. 4 ; yiii. 86. 2. Herod, ii. 60. 
^^ Vdkker, Ji^tiu, p. 98. Miiller, Kleiue Schrift. ii. 29. 


beidldering variety of legend which enriohed the later poetry of 
Greece. The superstition of the mountaineers seems, from the 
course of its development, to have been of a different, at all 
events, a less sombre stamp. This, though assuredly not the 
worship of the Olympian Di Superi, divested altogether of that 
gloomy feeling which became eventually concentrated upon the 
infernal powers and their abodes ^^ may have yet been in some re- 
spects an approach to it. It would be far beyond the proper limits 
of conjecture to attempt to specify the peculiar nature of such 
Deities ; but it is remarkable that many even of the gods even- 
tually restricted to the upper world betray, in many peculiarities, 
unmistakeable vestiges of alternation or '' Titanism ;" and this 
not only indirectly, as in their local proximity to the Phaeacians, 
Cyclops, and Giants above adverted to ^', but in personal cha- 
racteristics and adventures. Ares, for example, was inclosed 
in a brazen jar during a period determined probably by astro- 
nomical reasons, Minerva and Hephaestus fell like jneteors 
from heaven, the unruly gods were flung headlong over the 
steep verge by their irritated parent '^ even Zeus occasionally 
absented himself from Olympus, and was threatened with im- 
prisonment by the rebel powers **, who were imagined by post- 
Homeric poets to have undergone a banishment, similar to that 
of Apollo '* in consequence of the attempt. On the other 
hand, the powers eventually accounted subtelluric did not 
always strictly conform to the conditions of their separate in- 
vestiture'^; Hades wounded by the arrow sought a remedy 
on Olympus *', and the priestly author of the hymn (o Hecate 

•' Comp. Iliad, yiii. 868. 

u Or in their name "Ott^stmg** (Iliad, tdj, 612) shared with the Titans, but 
which may be understood as applied to them in respect of their eventual dwellings 

•* Hiad, XT. 28. » lb. i. 400. 

** It was said that the slayer of the Python was not really exiled to Tempo, but 
remoTed for nine "great years" to the other world, whence he returned to occupy 
the ancient oracle of Themis. Plutarch, de Defect. Orac. ch. 21. 

*7 Hymn to Geres, 87. 

" Iliad, V. 398. 


in the Theogony vaunts the still nbiquitous character of his 
patroness as a Titan^ and as still retaining her empire in hea- 
ven as well as in earth and sea^'. This universal or Titanic 
character became eventually confined to those among the gods 
called in opposition to the Epic personifications^ " mystic " or 
Orphic^ or to those whose fluctuating nature was dramatised 
into a permanent office of ministration, as in the case of Her- 
mes, who releases the other powers, and maintains a general 
connection between the upper and lower world. The same me- 
diatorial relation enters less obtrusively but with equal cer- 
tainty into the attributes of Poseidon, who, under the name of 
his relative, Briareus or ^geon, assisted Zeus, as Oceanus in 
iBschylus brings consolation to Prometheus. Generally a 
firiend of the destroying principle, hostile to Troy and delayer 
of Ulysses, he is not however a destroyer only, but also a 
builder, restorer, and liberator. As the sea-goddess, Thetis, 
rescues Hephsstus after his fall, Dionysus from his enemy, 
the corpse of Patroclus from decay, and that of Achilles from 
the funeral pile, so Poseidon occasionally performs the part of 
Hermes, as by interposing in favour of the captured Ares'^; 
and though, as closing the brazen doors of Hades '^^ and reckon- 
ing Periclymenus among his children '^ he might be said to be 
one of the conspirators against Zeus*', yet under another 
aspect (as jSSgeon) he rescued Zeus from imprisonment, re- 
peating, in regard to the rebel Olympians, the assistance he 
had already given to his brother against the Titans ^, that suc- 
cour*' for which Styx obtained the most distinguished honours 
among the Oceanides *'. The story of Helen being detained 
by Proteus*' on her way to Troy in company with Paris, is 

» Theog. 418. 421. 427. ^ Odyss. yiii. 845. Gomp. Iliad, r. 890. 

'* Het. Theog. 782. ** ApoUod. i. 9« 9. 

«> Diad, i. 400. Comp. Schol. Apollon. Bhod. L 1165. 
** i, €,BM one of the Gentimam. 

*" Hence the emphatic exception of Oceanna from the nomher of the Titanic con- 
apiiaton who pat an end to the generationt of Unniii. ApoUod. i. 1. 4. 
•• Theog. 897. " Herod, u. 112. 118. 


probably only another version of her being carried by Hermes 
to the same personage "', who, as son of Oceanus or Poseidon, 
might be supposed to provide the most appropriate receptacle 
for the powers of Nature during their obscuration or decline. 
For the same reason that Thetis rescues Hephaestus or 
Dionysus, that the Oceanid Metis administers the emetic 
which obliges Crocus to disgorge his oflTspring**, or that 
£urynome (another Oceanid?) makes the bed of Ulysses ^% 
Poseidon is represented as stabling the tired horses of Zeus^\ 
and the proverbial saying that the sea washes out all human 
ills^^ or, at least, steeps them in Lethe ^', is beautifully indi- 
cated in the hospitable reception of Ulysses in Ogygia (" Ocean- 
land") by the water nymph Calypso^*, the friend of Proser- 
pina ^^, as also in the delivery of Peleus through the intervention 
of the horse god (Chiron) who under another form (Poseidon) 
supplied him with the same victorious horses which he gave to 
Pelops '•. 

If in these relations Poseidon appears nearly allied with 
Hades, in equal proportion does he tend to coalesce with the 
great elemental genius and general liberator Hermes ^^, until 
the restrictions of personal individuality relax and disappear 
in a common symbol, such as Erechtheus, Butes, or Adas^'. 

* Burip. Helen, 46. "* Apollod. i. 2. 1. 

70 Odyis. xz. 4. '> Iliad, Tiii. 440. 

^ SchoL Lycophr. 185. Oomp. Odyss. xx. 65. 79. Iliad, i. 814. 

^ Comp. Odyss. xxiil 282. 

*< "Concealment;" ahe was daughter of Atlas in Homer; bnt this, as Yolker has 
shown, is no real inconsistency. 

7* Hymn to Ceres, 422. 

^ Apollod. iii. 18. 5. Find. OL ii. 115. Iliad, xxiil. 277. Comp. the winged 
horses which deliTered BeUerophon, Adiastus, &c 

" The HeiBclitean theory of the intermediate position of the sea between the 
finer and grosser elements (Clem. Alex. Strom, t. 14, p. 599) is a different applica- 
tion of the same symhoL 

^ Comp. lUad, xx. 24. Crenz. Symb. 491. 501 sq. Laur. Lydns de mens. Esther, 
p. 288. The husband of Demetw being the equivalent of the wooer of her daughter 


If farther we attempt to resolve the relative agency of these 
allied beings into its probable origin as part of the general con- 
ception of the godhead, it will appear as if the Olympian gods 
had themselves been originally Titans, Titans however not in 
the Homeric sense as exclusively '^hypotartarean/' but as pass- 
ing firom one hemisphere to another, and exercising the alternate 
office which Hermes alone among the Epic gods continued 
openly to perform. Homer s Titans are of necessity removed 
out of the way in order to make room for the more decided per- 
sonality of his gods, who however indirectly betray their essen- 
tially Titanic nature when rescued or restored by the good 
offices of the lower world, or provided through the instrumen- 
tality of the waters with an opportunity of return, or, as it 
were, with horses to wing their flight ; and as Europe could not 
be said to have been fairly discovered until the idea of Asia was 
defined, so the Titans, as a class, were never, properly speaking, 
worshipped, because they only existed in that conceptional 
actuality which they never possessed until the forms and Amo- 
tions of the Olympians were arrayed in opposition to them. 
The dissimilarity yet identity of the Homeric gods with the 
Titans would seem to be one of the great problems of Greek 
theology. The original characters of the former may be sup- 
posed to be more clearly revealed in the h^oes connected with 
them as sons or descendants. Ares for instance in his son Te- 
reus'*, or in CEnomaus'", Apollo in Orestheus, or the migratory 
Orestes", or the Hyperborean Apollo-" Agrius** alluded to in 
the old legend of the mortal and dying Lycurgus*^ who perse- 
cuted the god Dionysus. There was doubtless some remote age 
and clime in which the attributes of Apollo and Dionysus, of 

«* Pans, i 41. 8. 

•* Galled *' y»/tfif0*rMs:* Lycophr. 161. Zens " Areioe." Faus. t. 14. 5. 
** Paus. YiiL 8. 1, said to lie buried in Apollo's temple; that is, lie was in a cer- 
tain sense idetnical with him. 
** Wonhipped, howeyer, accoiding to Stmbo, in Thiace, i. d. as Apollo " Ly- 



Hermes and Zeus, were associated in one " ; when the Melam- 
podidffi and Corybantes needed no reconciliation with the God 
of Delphi **, when the work of the Thracian Orpheus was pro- 
perly confounded with that of the Hyperborean Abaris *^, and 
when a Cimmerian or Sintian (Scindian ?) race driven from the 
interior of Asia to those shores of the Phasis and Maeotis** so 
intimately connected with Grecian history, both mythical and 
real", brought along with them a deity ** comprising the sun, 
the water, and the grave among his aspects, the rising and 
setting power, in connection with whom the idea of a transfer- 
ence or revival of the spirit passed into Greece through Scythia 
and Thrace'*. At this point the expeditions and persons of 
Bacchus and Hercules, the gardens of Phoebus and of Midas, 
are undistinguishable. But in course of time, the peculiar 
character of the deity was determined by the forms of his wor- 
ship, and the same god assumed on the plains and mountains, 
or rather in the poetry, of Greece the distinguishing character- 
istics which afterwards continued to mark the Di Superi and 
Inferi, the Olympian and Gthonian powers'^. It was a result 
of this subdivision that the Pelasgian Hermes or Dionysus be- 

*> Plutarch, de Ei Delph. ch. 9. Macrob. Sat i. 18. 

** Diod. S. Excerpt toL iL p. 546. Odyia. zt. 265. Stnbo, z. p. 194. Teh. 
471. Cas. ApoUo might then have been called a ion of Zena^ilenns. Porphyr. 
Yit Pythag. p. 80, Kiettling. Crena. S. 4. 51, and have been soppoaed tobekiUed 
like Bionjina. 

» Pans. ui. 18. 2. 

** Herod, ir. 11. Bitter, Yorhalle, p. 162. Hudfon'a Cteogr. Hin. toL ii. 
Scymmoa China, p. 52. Strabo, zi. p. 141. 

*^ On the mythical connection of Corinth and Colchii, comp. SchoL Pind. OL ziiL 
74. Tsetaes to Lycophr. 174. Of the Tauric Artemis Iphigenia with Lemnoa and 
Attica, Mailer, Orchom. 805. 

* For instance, the " Eorot-Baddha" of Bitter, the god of the Cercetea (Tcher- 
kesaea) of Scybiz (p. 81 Ends. vol. L), the Corazi, &c., the Hercnlea or Jason of 
Greece, the Bis-iBscnU^ios of Cimmerian Sinope. 

^ €.g. Xamolzis, Aristeas, Abaris, Pythagoras, i, e. Apollo himsel£ lamblich. 
Yit Pythag. p. 196. 294, Eieasling. 

•9 Comp. Preller, " Demeter and Persephone," p. 184, note. 


came the mythical rival of the Hellenic Apollo, and the Ho- 
meric hymn beautifully describes the eventful circumstances of 
the, final treaty, in which the Gthonian power barters the assured 
harmonies of the world in exchange for the perquisite stolen 
indeed, yet rightfully his own, those backward-staUdng buUs 
whose feet rooted to the ground by the enchanter's art an- 
nounce the irrevocable doom which bind the past to the world 
of shadows. The two systems or classes, hitherto unformed 
because united, became for a time separated *V Ares, for ex- 
ample, is no longer the being (Midas) who perished by drinking 
bulls' blood, whose secret was in the pit, the prostrate giant 
entombed under the stone of Minerva or guarding the treasures 
of the golden fleece in the Colchian grove of Hecate, but the 
angry aspect of nature in the upper hemisphere, husband of 
Aphrodite but slayer of Adonis, the avenging Apollo, (Orestes- 
Tisamenus ?) to whom his analogy may be seen in the parent- 
age of Cycnus, the dealing of pestilence **, and in other traces 
of his dualistic nature^'. The sons of Ares are sometimes 
called Phlegyans '^ that is, ''incendiaries,"*^ a race tyrannical 
and overbearing"*, foes to Grod and man, though intimately 
connected with both ", and in particular described as threat- 
ening the city of Cadmus *^ and as violating the proper Apol- 
linic worship of Delphi. Tet they probably represent a prior 
aspect of the same aboriginal religion. Minyas himself was a 
son of Ares, the worship of Zeus Laphystius was in a sense that 

•» MHUer, Kleine Scbrift. ii 287. 

»» Soph. (Bd. Tyr. 27. 190. The "wvf^^ Swr." 

•» «. y. «• " Psean,*' Soph. Ajax, 706. 

** From Phlegyaa, ton of Arei and Chryse, fiither of Coronii, from whom by 
ApoUo or Iichys Aielepiui. 

" Comp. Diad, iv. 812 ; xiii. 688. 

•• Stiabo, iz. 4140, "xegardleu of Zeus" (H. Apollo, 270), t. €. uncompliant to 
the moial rule of the modem gods. 

*7 Undistinguishable from the LapithsB, the mub of Ooenea*, i. e. Man, models of 
atrength and connge of the olden time. Iliad, i 262. MOller, Orchom. 190, 191. 

« SchoL ApoUon. Bh. L 78& 


of Dionysus ••, and the posterity of the Hercules ** Cytissonis/' 
who released Athamas, became themselves liable to the cnise 
hereditary in their race^^. The poetry and theology of ^e 
dwellers of the plains retired before the fierce tribes of the in- 
terior, sorviving only in minstrelsy bequeathed to record the 
exploits of the conquerors, or in legends which they partly in- 
corporated with their own, and partly consigned to the more 
reserved keeping of mysteries^". The revolution appears to 
have been accompanied by a general exchange of sacerdotal 
kingship for the rule of warrior chie& or heroes apart from the 
priesthood, and constituting, under various names, Achceans, 
lonians, or Dorians, a feudal aristocracy*^ distinct firom the 
conquered, who became helots, i. e, slaves, or feudatory Pe- 
nestffi, FerioBci, or Teleontes. The great historical movement 
of the Grecian population caused by the inroad of those " sons 
of Hercules," who from Thessaly and Macedonia came to be 
ancestors of the princes of Thebes and Argos, was probably 
only the last of a long series of similar revolutions either less 
important in themselves, or less celebrated in song^*'. After 
the ThessaUan deluge, Deucalion, father of Orestheus, the type 
of the .£olian inhabitants of the country, and his wife Pyirha, 
a personification, as supposed by some, of the country itself ^^^ 
appear among the mountains of Central Greece surrounded by 
Leleges and Guretes, both described as wandering and warlike 
races '*'*, extending through the highlands from Acamania to 
Euboea, and afterwards entering Peloponnesus. A new ^olis 
was founded in ^tolia^*^ and iBtolia afterwards sent colonists 

•• MiUler, Oichom. 132. 168. 
«w lb. 159. Herod. viL 178. 197. 
>o> MuUer, Oichom. 446. 

>« GaUed in Homer, Heiiod&c., "/^Xvffe*''* an^ " ^x- ^^f^t^ "fi^^Auf^ 
" irokifu^%0i," &e. MQller, ib. 117. 181. Paut. I 81. 2. 
*<>* Comp. Herod. iL 58. Bnttouuin, Myth. ii. 260, 261. 
^ Apollod. Frag. p. 480. Stnbo, ix. 448. 

*^ Beferencei in Yolcker, p. 878. Comp. Aristot in Stiabo, Tii. 821<. 
»«• Thncyd. iii. 102. ApoUod. i. 7. 7. 


under OxyluB ^^^ to Elis. In Elis, the land of Augeas, the 
" shining," the son of Helios, first governed hy Endymion who 
had fifty daughters by his wife Asterodia or the moon '*", the 
Olympic games were instituted by Guretes, while their asso- 
oiates, the Leleges, one of those problematical races who in dif- 
ferent sites appear under difierent forms, and the etymology of 
whose name, as hinted in the Hesiodic fragment '^^ would 
simply mark them as autochthonous, became ancestors of the 
Laoonians and Messenians. All were probably included among 
those ^olian worshippers of Poseidon and descendants of 
Helios who had already witnessed the battle of the elements in 
their native Thessaly, where Hercules founded Elone among 
the Lapithffi in memory of his victory over the Centaurs "*, and 
where the Phlegyans of Oyrton or Gorton, the city of Goronus 
and Ixion*^', carried on their hereditary warfare against the 
Thessalian Ephyreans "'. In their eventual establishments the 
peculiar patrons of each tribe seem to have been more accu- 
rately ascertained. The children of the daughter of the Sun "' 
by Poseidon adopted at Pylus the religion of their father, while 
the Gorinthians who worshipped Poseidon on the shore, conse- 
crated their citadel to Helios as their tutelary Zeus "^. It was 
at Gorinth, the "Sun city," "Heliopolis,""* where the ele- 

^ Son of Ares, the " slunp-ngbted," or the triophthalmic MOUer, Dor. i. 61. 
Horn. H. Apollo, 874. 

« Paw. V. 1. * 

'* 85 Gottling, J^tmrmt «» y^ung, or " men made from stoDes." Comp. Find. OL 

iM Schol. Iliad, iL 739. 

*" SchoL ApoIIon. I 57. Steph. Byi. ad t. Strabo, tiL 880 ; ix. 489. 442. The 
QyrtoDiant were alao called Phlegyani. 

"* Mimer, Oichom. 188. 

<>* Tyro. Hom. Od. zi 286. 

"« Pans. y. 1 and 6. Aristides, Isthmicns, torn. I p. 44 (40 DindorO. MOller 
treats the Ck>iinthian son religion and the Poseidonian as snooeeding each other. JBgi- 
neticBy L 7, p. 27. 

<>* Bustat ad Biad, iL 570. Steph. Byi. Bphyre. The grsTe of Neleus-Poseidon. 
Pans, ii 2. 2. 


ments were thus apportioned to their respective sovereigns, that 
Bellerophon caught the Neptunian emblem of the winged horse 
by Peirene, and that the ^olid Sisyphus, the ''spy of gods and 
men,""' detected the rape of ^gina from the rock of Epope. 
Sisyphus banished from his throne preserves even in hell his 
real office "*, his stone being the solar disc which he strives to 
roll up the steep of the zodiac. 

When Gorybas is made father of Apollo, and the Guretes 
and Gorybantes his children"', the story must be understood 
as implying a fusion of the proper Apollinic worship with that 
of the older sun-gods of Phrygia and Crete. But this amalga- 
mation of ideas was facilitated by their prior affinity. The 
Delphic oracle was said to have been discovered by " Goretas," 
who gave his name to the Gorycian cave, to Lycorea, and even 
to the oracle itself ('' Gortina") "*. We have already seen 
instances of a form of worship confounded with the idea of a 
fictitious nation in the Amazons, as it was also in the Tel- 
chines, the Gabiri or Gabiraoi in Pausanias, &c. ; and, possibly, 
the name of Gretheus and many others '**, particularly that of 
the Guretes, may be interpreted as marks of a widely extended 
form of religion"', of which the armed or pyrrhic dance in 
honour of the sun was a principal feature^''. Both Acamania 
and ^tolia were anciently called Guretis"', that is, the abori- 

"* '* Bpopeus/' Horn. Hymn, Geres, 62. 

^^ Smw^ «f, the wiie Qod, rstps ym^ ti Lm^na fmtri rtft # »•»! €»ft )t I f^pn «r«i^ 
Ai«Xftfr<. Snstath. to Odyaa. X. p. 1702. Pherecyd. Stun. 166. Find. OL zui 
74. Sisyphus seems partly Atlas-HermeSi partly a Sol infems; the Oorinthiaii% 
'< M ««r« Zirvffv/' were his descendants. Philostr. Heroic, zix. 14, p. 739. 

"• Gic. N. D. ill. 23. Strabo, z. 472. Schol. Lycophr. 78. ApoUod. i. 8, 4. 

'» Faos. ix. 24. 4. 

130 ggcii 1^ Kerkyon, Corythos, Oonebns killing the monster sent by Apollo 
(Pans. 1. 43. 7), Cercaphns, son of Heliosi Plutarch, de FIut. Huds. p. 8S. 

»> Pans. Tiii. 24. Stmbo, z. 462. 

^ Strabo, z. 467 (162. 278. Teh.). Hemsterhens's Lndan, i 226. Pans. in. 
25. 2. "Pyrrhicus" was said to be one of them. Strabo, z. 163. Teh. Noon. 
Dion. zziT. 75. 

i» Steph. Bys. "Athenss," and "Hm^r Apollod. L 7. 6. ApoUoi. Bh. 
ir. 1229. 


gmal^'^ country of the Guretes, who appear BometiineB as an 
oigiastio priesthood oiroling round the altars of the sun^ and 
attendant on Deucalion or Zeus^''^ sometunes as gods them- 
selves, though usually of a subordinate class '^. Strabo ap- 
pears to have considered them as originally priests performing 
orgiastic rites "^; not, however, the charlatans or cheats which 
they would seem to modem scepticism, but men who, under 
the influence of a religious frenzy, as unaccountable to them- 
selyes as to others, became ideally blended with the divinity 
which was supposed to agitate them. It was only when in a 
later age these ceremonies had been made an object of reflectiye 
speculation, that the visible agent became as it were merged 
and forgotten in the spiritual, and that the human performers 
of a mysterious rite were permanently elevated into a class of 
problematical divinities, like the Anaotes or Anaces of Athens 
or Amphissa'**, the Tritopatores, Dioscuri, Satyri, &c."^ Like 
other Nature gods they had an equivocal character, as alter- 
nately sportive or malevolent ^'^, and in particular were to Zeus 
what the Pans and Satyrs were to Dionysus, the Gorybantes to 
Gybele, the Gharites to the Acidalian Aphrodite, the Muses to 
Apollo^'\ They were supposed to have performed among the 
gods the pantomimic dance common among rude tribes, and 
which, like other human practices, such as eating, leaping, and 

>** Strabo rejecU the idea of the deriTBtion of the Atolian Curetei out of Crete, 
X. 466. (p. 154. Teh.) 

>» IHon. HaL L 17. 

» Stiabo, X. p. 208. Tchuk. Diod. S. t. 65. Pans, iii 25 ; W. 31. 

^ z. 155. 157. TcL ; and where he ipeaks of the "coimection'' of the legend of 
thehirth of Zens with these practices (171. Teh.), as an afterthought : " w^t^mfm^nt 
fut4§9 9t^t ms rw Ai«f ytfuuH** 

» Pans. z. 88. 

>* Oie. N. D. in. 21. Bnrip. Baochas, 120. 180. A theoretieal snhdiyision of 
their chief or parent, bnt ooUectiyelj identical with him aroond whom they danced« 
Wekker, TriL 196. 

^ Hes. ap. Strab. z. 471. Orph. H. zxzriL 14. 

>** Bnrip. Cyclops. 220. "••^Mr^XM," or attendants. 

VOL. I. U 


wreetling, was adopted in the ritaal of religions^**. The 
tmnaltuoas excitement of barbarian wonhip^ which also cha* 
racterised many of the religious celebrations of the OrBeks^ 
contributed to swell the legendary accounts of the gods in 
whose honour it was perfonned ; and, if it be allowable to gire 
a preference to one among many conjectures about a word so 
notoriously the object of speculation^", we may adduce the 
opinion of a distinguished scholar ^'^ who derives the word 
Chor, or Choros, an ancient name of the sun, out of Asia'*^, 
according to which ^^Guretes" would mean sun-worahippers, 
indicating a form of worship as widely extended as their 
name"*. Hence they were confounded with the Phrygian 

1" Plato, Laws, 799. 2 Samuel, tL 14. Sobertaon*f America, u. 183. Lncbii 
ae Sail xvi. p. 277. Oram. 8. iL 867^ Dancing, like kutttin^ (Zen. Qfiieg. 
tk» 1), wrestling, and song, was snppoeed to be d dinne mitttiilton. 

*** In preference to the explanation <'yoDng waniors," Diad, ziz. 193. 248. 
Strabo, x. 467; thoogh the two etymologies may possibly be connected. Comp. 
Bottiger, Ideen, IL 0. Hoeck, Kreta, I 202. Strabo says Jnstly, "rXMmxM 

»" Gari. Kitter, " Vorhalle Europaischer Yolkergeechichten;' p. 82, SS, 09. 89. 

^^ Whence the race of the Kurus, or " sons of the Son," whose war with the 
Pandus is described in the Maha-Bharata, the Fandoos being fiiTonritea of Crishna, 
the Enms probably a reminisoence of the inhabitants of the extreme north, ''Utisila 
Koni," whence the Iranians came into India. (Goaip. Laasen. Ant L 52S.) ftesa 
the same souroe cornea the word Khoiaaan, "land of the San," and the nama ef the 
riyer and king called by the Greeks "Kn^" and "K*^" "Km^ umXm^a m 
Tlt^^m rtf 'HXMf.** Flat Yit Artaxerx. ch. 1. K«^— • fim^iX%»t rtw Tltfrm i 
•r«x«Mf* *RA.««v ymf ix" ^^V9*f*»' Btym. Magn. p. 580. Comment to Dionyi. 
Ferieg. 1078. "Cor," Welsh, "a circle." Hence, X«e«f, mtrnXn. Heaydu The 
orb of day, Bnrip. Blectra, 465. iBsch. From. 91. jmi^ m^, and jm^, the 
head. Bnstat to n. e 84. N. 576: tutf, the hair, the head sonraunded with hair 
being compared to the sim sorronnded ^th beams, the resplendent tieaaei of the 
Homeric helmet-crest : "M^vf," a helmet; "aMfaf," the bird of Apollo. BosCat to 
n. iy. 101. Forph. Abst 4. Howeyer, Welcker caUs it bEndness not to see that 
« Curetes" are derived finom jmv^#4. Trilogie, 190. 

'* Not only in the reputed residences of the Cnretei, bat extendlqg ftmn Asia 
throughoat Burope from Ehorasan, Canunania, and the Ceroetei of Scylaz to Gbr- 
niola, Corsica, Cora, Cortona; comp. Coronea, CorsesB, Oyrtone, Corydalhu, Goraias, 
&c., and the legends of Croesos, in Fhotias, BibL 110. Baehi's Ctesias, p. 104. 
Fers. ch. 49, p. 194. Flutarch, Y. Artaxerx. 1. Zanthi Fiagm* 19. 


Corybantes and Idasi Dactyli^*^, bequeatMng the same common 
appellation to many a tribe and mountain in Asia as well as 
Greece. We may imagine the muttered chant or incantation 
of the ancient Pelasgi as they circled round the altar^", like 
the Indians in their war dance, and like them streaked with 
painty the red colour from whence the dance itself probably 
derived its name of "Pyrrhic/"*' The Indians saluted the 
rising sun with a dance and gesticulations imitative of the 
oelestial movement of the luminary ^^, as the ancient Israelites 
leaped or ''hopped" round their altars ^^^ in the orgies of Baal. 
The Thradan dances of the Amazons on the Thermodon'^^ 
and the Salian dance of the priests of Mars at Bome, derived 
from the Lydians and Etrurians ^^'» had a symbolical meaning 
analogous to the choruses of Apollo at Delphi, Thebes, or 
Deles'^, the rhythmical rowing of the Argonauts, or the har- 
monious hammers of the Cyclops. Dancing, says Lucian'^, 
was coeval with creation, with the movement of the stars, and 
with the birth of Love. Helios himself, represented by the 
Cretan Meriones, was a consummate dancer ^^'; and Minerva 
played the Pyrrhic measure to the alternate step of the Dios- 
curi"'. The gods danced on Olympus***; their solemn cho- 

^ Btabo^ X. 215. Teh. Diod. S. t. 65. HeUaaici Fngm. Stan. p. 107. 
Lnoet ii 680. 

» Viig. Mjl It. 146. 

^ Comp. Hot. Bp. ad Pit. 277. Athena, ziy. 629. Stiabo, 467. 

i« Lndan, de Salt 17. 

i4> Bscod. xxzii. 19. 1 Elings, xviiL 26, in the originaL 

>« Yiig. Mn. XL 660. 

■^ Yaler. Max. ii 4. 8. Liry, yii. 2. The dance of the Salii in the Campni 
Martini ivaa the salenin inangnxation ef the year addreaied to the Qod. of Nature in 
Ua flarartw of the vairior Snn. Serr. to Yiig. Mil iiL 85 ; ii 825. 

■^ Apollon. £h. i. 586. Comp. Yirg. Mil yiii. 285. Macrob. S. iii 12. Span- 
ad Oallim. Diaa. iii. 170. 242 and 247. Sorip. Here. Fur. 690. 

i«* De Saltat 7. 

^ Athenaufy 5, ch. 10 ; oomp. 1, ch. 40, Iliad, xvi 617. 

'^r SehoL Find. Pyth. iL 127. Ariatides, i p. 26. 

i« Bymn, Apollo Pyth. 19. Hei. Scat. H. 201. 

U 2 


rases led by Zeus^^ in heaven were conducted on the Lycean 
hill by Pan"^ as by Apollo and Dionysus on Parnassus"'* 
The seemingly anomalous dances of Mars"' and Aphrodite 
belong to their physical character; and if Venus led her cho- 
ruses beneath the glimmer of the moon"', it was because as 
the homed Astarte she united the symbol of the lunar crescent 
rising out of the ocean with her attributes as queen of Na- 
ture"^. The dance of the " x^^^^^f o'''o<" Curetes was an astro- 
nomical one; it was the earthly response to the choruses of 
Olympus '^y like the Onossian measure performed by Theseus 
at Delos after his escape from Crete, and said to have been a 
mimicry of the mazes of the Labyrinth "* ; in short, the sidereal 
dance, ^' not without song," sculptured by Dasdalus or Hephas* 
tus'", the architects of Nature, in which the central tumblerSy 
"Mvffia^fifi" were sometimes the Dioscuri, or lights of heaven***, 
sometimes the genii of the seasons"' represented by Hermes 
and Ares"^, among whom the Gorybas vtmn^ivoi circled in the 
maze of Nature's revolution streaked with the blood of his 
murdered brothers "\ In this sense the Curetes were said to 

■« Zem wu npmented dandng in the Titantomichy of Bnmeliis. Athoue. L 
ch. 40; TiL ch. 5. 

>"» Qvigmant, iii. p. 168. 

»> Soph. Antig. 1180. 1148. AthenaMU, I 22 \ Gomp. Odyit. nii 108. 247. 
248. Henoe Gronui and eyen Zens might he phwed among Cnietet. 

^ Aret, " •^x^f^^f'" Ifjcophr. 249. 

^ Hor. Od. L 4, 5. Gomp. Aristoph. Lyiictr. 1815. 

^ Uschold, VorhaUe, IL 60-68. 

>« Find. 01. xiT. 12. 

iM i£i^^ "Qeianot,*' or Gian»4anoe. Bmtat to Iliad, 1( 590. Phit Yit 
Thes. 21. 

^ Iliad, ib. The idea being piohahlj taken firom a woik of art, ineh af the 
€hioflnans itill poMeeted in the time of Pauaniai, ix. 40. 2. Gompi Hoecfc, Kieia, 
p. 67, 68. 

I'* Lndan de Salt 10. Grais. S. ir. 117. 

iM Spanheim in Gallim. Hym. Jot. 52. 

*"^ Hom. Hymo, Apollo, ^th. 28. 

>*i Orphic. H. xxzviL 28 ; xxziz. 6. HUller, Oidiom. 451. Halioa and Lao- 
damns, those unequalled dancers, throw about the ball made by Polybns (Henaet- 


have been the first teachers of astronomy, and of religions mys- 
teries'^; since the sidereal dance of heayen is the archetypal 
jabUee of natore'**, the pattern of all human forms of adora- 
tion. It was probably the prominent part assigned to Crete in 
the mythical development of Greece, as well as its pre-eminence 
in the armed or orgiastic dance ''^ which made the Coretes who 
attended the birth of Zeus seem the primary type of all similar 
rites and persons^*". But the denomination was properly a 
general one. The Guretes were sons of earth or pf the atmo- 
sphere'^. Their central habitation was in Acamania and 
^tolia, where they were assisted in their wars by Apollo'*'; 
in Eubcea, their king was Phorbas, the grazier or nourisher"", 
the friend of the great grazier Apollo'*", and perhaps himself 
identical with Helios'^*. The youth of heaven ''', the Titans, 
and probably even the Olympians '^^ were their modds; they 
stood as gods in the genealogy of Fhoroneus'^', and had their 
shrines and sacrifices in Messenia, while at the same time they 
seem to represent the remembrance of a race who lived as yet 
nnseparated firom the gods whose divinity they shared. Their 
name intermmgled more or less with ahnost every local gene- 
alogy; the Sicyonians were descended fix)m Corax through 

Chboniiif) among the doiidi, in tunt hurling it back without allowing it to touch 
the groond. OdyM. TiiL 874. 

*** Theon. ad Axat L 86, 86. Lodan, de Salt 10. Grans. S. iT. 117. 

'^ The mniidan wai originally aepaiate from the chorua, the pantomime of the 
one being goremed by the lOTereign hannonieii of the other. Comp. Odysa. Tiii 266. 

^ StnOMS X. 481. 

^ Dio. Chryioat. Or. zi 81. Soph. Ajax, 699. SchoL 

■** Stiabo, 472. Grid, Met iy. 282. Welcker luppoaei the deriTation frem 
^'Imbri" to be an allnaion to Imbroa, i. «. Hermea. Trilogie, 198. Steph. Yoc 

*» Stabo, z. 468. Ftaii. ?iiL 24. 9 ; z. 81. 4. 

>* HeUaaicniy Stars, p. 56. 

^ Hyg. P. A. iL 14. Pani. m 20. 2. 

»• Apollod. iL 5. 5. 1. SchoL ApoUon. i 172 ; or with Hennea Polymelua. 
Odyaa. zil 128. D. sir. 490. 

171 ««M»^, w^nmH** Orph. Fmg. Tiii. 40. 

>** Comp. IL zziT. 612. Cronus and Khea, aaya Prodni, were the fint Gnretea, 

"* Heaiod in Strabo, z. 471. 


Coronas, undistinguishable apparently from the prince of the 
Lapithffi, a son of Apollo and Chrysorthe"\ while deducing 
" Epopeufl," the soyereign spy, a son of Aloeus or of Helios^ 
from Thessaly'^', where the Crannonians, like the Corinthians, 
had been called Ephyrei. The Argiye Heraoleids derived their 
origin from the Macedonian Caranas, 

" Pelbea dedit qui uomina regam/' *^ 

the line of kings who measured out the sun for their portion *^% 
and lived near the fabled gardens of the Gordian Midas. The 
brazen image of a crow is related to have been discovered in 
digging a foundation near Corone in Messenia^ where Apollo 
had been worshipped from very ancient times under the name 
of Corynthus"*. Corythus or Hellen, son of Paris and Helena, 
or of the sun and moon^^^ once lost his helmet ''^, for the 
same reason, probably, as Hercules his head of hair^'\ the 
founder of Cortona, and frither of Dardanus and lasius, being 
identical with Apollo and with Zeus. Dancing was peculiarly 
appropriate in the emblematic service of the sun god^**; the 
Spartan youth danced on a place called the '^ Chores" in their 
forum, in honour of Apollo^*'; and when it is said that Zeus 
was preserved by the dancers of Curetes, the fable partly ex- 
presses how the regenerated emblem of light and life is pre- 
served from the destroyer by the revolution of the heavens, the 
true arena of the rapid feet of the Fhsaoians {" fAOffAOfuyeu 

"* Pans, ii 1. 1 ; v. 8. Apollod. ii. 7. 7. 

i7« pam. ii. 1. 1 ; yi 1. Theopomp. ap. Tsete. Lycoplur. 174. Zeus Bpopeot. 
Pans. ii. 6. 
"' Aqsoxiius. 

■^ In Herod, yiii. 188, this gymbolical act is attributed to Perdioeas. 
»" Paug. iy. Zi. »" Eiutat ad Odyss. ir. 8. 

"1 The hair, %, e. the rays of the Ban ; hence Apollo '' Orinitaf," jaba— < 9, '' jubar." 
By analogy the strength of man wai supposed to reside in the hair ; benoe the expres- 
sion, " iwi Tv^»9fih i»0fitm (Herod, y. 71), and the custom of shaying as a sign of 
humiliation and grief. (Herod. L 82. Pint Igii, ch. 14. Leyiticus, ch. ziz. 27.) 

'•> Lncian, Salt. 16, 17. 

*» Pans, iil 11. 7. Athene, z. 456 '. 


^cimf"), and partly how a new religiooB conception^ nursed 
among the wild rites of a harbarous tribe, was matured in the 
course of their own development^ and shared the victory pur- 
chased by their achievements. The name of Guretes, originally 
the sidereal and actual performers of the religious and military 
dance called Pyrrhic, may have easily been extended to all the 
tribes who used the rite^^; the aborigines, whether of iBtolia 
or Crete, whose name, together with the practices connected 
with it» remained unaltered in remote festnesses, and occa- 
sionally assumed a peculiar foim in legendary history. 

But the aboriginal sun-god of Greece often appears a very 
diflEerent character from Apollo or Zeus. Physically^"' they 
may have resembled each other; and it might be correct to say 
that a supreme '^ Apollo" consecrated his earUest Pythium on 
Olympus, and that the Dorians, the " iiyioi BegaTruY Avohxu- 
fog"^^ were equally descended from Dorus and Hellen, from 
Apollo^ from Hercules, or Zeus. But there are many local 
personifications, such as Sisyphus, Salmoneus, and Athamas ^"^, 
who, however afterwards degraded, were once looked upon as 
divine, and whose characters indicate a rude and cruel super- 
stition, mimicking, or rather dishonouring, the true majesty of 
Zeos^*". The period of their sway properly belonged to the 
mythical times of Cronus and his Titans, afterwards repre- 
sented as rebels against the gods whom Hellenic civilization 
raised up to succeed them, while their symbols were fancifully 
transmuted into the instruments of their punishment ^^. The 
gods were then robbers or tyrants, like those earthly tyrants, 
the son of the powerful Crius in £uboea"^ or Creon, the 

*** Gomp. AtheniBiiB, ziy. 29. 

** For erery god luui an inner and an onier character. Bottiger, Ide«n, i 802. 

>» SdmL Pind. OL iii 28. 

^ Zcm I^iphyitins. 

»• Max. Tyr. Diaa. 6. 2. 
. "* Thai tbe atone of Tantaloa and SisypliiiB, the wheel of Ixion, the pillar of Pro- 
■letfaeiit-Heimei^ the den of Oaeiu, &c. 

*• BMI8.X.6. 


mythical king of Thebes or Corinth*'*. They were a race of 
beings who might, according to circumstances, be placed in the 
list of Titans or of heroes, but all of whom had once been 
nature gods or planetary powers, worshipped with choral dances, 
and still connecting their names with the high places on which 
their rites had been immemorially performed **^ The traces of 
their worship were generally obliterated, because, like the Achsean 
god who betrayed Sparta to the Dorians"', they belonged 
not, properly speaking, to Hellenism, but either to the fetichism 
of the aborigines, or to that PhoBnician period of mingled 
luxury and cruelty which had been banished with Cronus. In 
ancient times the Curetes sacrificed human victims to Cronus**^. 
But they then belonged to an older Zeus*", or to an ante- 
Doric ApoUo-Camus*", one probably identical with Ares, or 
Chryses, who exacted human victims at Sparta, or Cycnus, who 
killed Lycus the Thracian"^, and who built a temple to his 
father out of the skulls of strangers*". Their rites resembled 
those of the ferocious Pelasgian Lycaon rather than the better 
type adopted by his supposed cotemporary Cecrops in the 
worship of Zeus the Supreme (IfTraTOf) at Athens*"; occa- 
sionally they were redeemed from the brand of ignominy as 
Titans by being merged in some more recent and approved 
impersonation, as Apollo, or Hercules '^'^; but even these better 

i*i Diod. S. It. 54. His death resembled that of Hercules, to whom he was re- 
lated. Apollodorus mentioiis many persons of this name (L 9. 23. 8 ; iL 7, 8. 

*** Gomp. Pans. ii. 11. 5 and 8 ; ib. 21. Cronins near Olympia, Lycsens, &c 

••» Pan*. iiL 18. »• Istri Pn«m, 47. 

»" Diod. S. iil 60. »•• Pans. iii. 18. 

^ Pans. i. 27. 7. 

1" Schol. Pind. 01. xi. 19. The character of the god of the Thaigdia, the 
" »rm^aX6t** (Horn. H. Del 67|) scarcely justifies the eonstroction commonly given 
to the epithet "nOat" (Spanheim to Gallim. H. Apoll. 40,) which rather conyeys 
the meaning of "OuXt" A^g. 

"* Pans. viii. 2 ; comp. i. 26. Also called Oronos-Satnnius. Macrob. Sat L 10. 

*» Hence Hercules is one of the Curetes. (Pans. y. 7. Diod. y. 64.) The 
good Marathonian Titan of Philochoms, (Frag. 157,) and Ister, (Fiag. 2,) is probably 


oonoeptions, whicli eventually superseded the older gods^ re- 
tained some traces of the fierceness of antiquity; Apollo and 
Dionysus often wear a frown, and Hercules, the saviour of de- 
voted Athamas'^S of Prometheus and of Theseus, the usual 
abolisher of bloody rites*^^ preserves as the ''devourer" or the 
''frenzied" the mythical traits of Cronus or Adrastus. The 
poetic tales of horror professedly extracted from the records of 
Thebes, Corinth, or Argos, are probably images of physical 
vicissitudes, and moreover indicative of the character of the 
rites made too literally to correspond with them, in which the 
alternation of life and death was tragically enacted and imi- 
tated'^. The sacrifice of the ^olian Athamas, the murder of 
Sidero on the altar of Nature, or the rites of Zeus Lycseus or 
Acrius in Arcadia which Pausanias shudders to disclose '^^ 
were an attempt to mimic by a symbolical sacrifice the apparent 
procedure in which death is the necessary earnest and ante- 
cedent of life, so that the children of Nephele, or the first-fixdts 
of the Athenian youth, must perish in order that the fertility of 
the earth may be restored^. Again, when in poetry Agamem- 
non is made the destroyer of his own child, and the cause of 
innimierable woes to Greece, or when Achilles leaps like a 
''dsemon"*^ into the Scamander^ and encumbers its stream 
with dead, it must be recollected that the former is an ancient 
^Achsean deity*", and that Achilles, no less a god**, reigned 

the Haiathoman Hercules. (Paul. i. 15. 82.) The confiwon between Apollo and 
older fon-godi ii notorioot. 

»i SchoL Ariitoph. Nub. 258. ** Hacrob. Sat. i. 7, p. 240. Zenn. 

^ See Died. xz. 14, p. 416, on the tme meaning of Satom doTouring hit chil- 
dren ; and Hacrob. Sat. i 8. 


SM Comp. 1 Cor. zy. 86, and the story of Macaria. Pans. L 82. Hence the 
symbolical aelf-Mcrifices of Godms, AnttpsBnns, &&, in order to insure yictoiy. 
Pans. iz. 17. 

» In Homer, meaning "a god." ^ Iliad, xxL 18. 

*» Comp. Lycophr. Cass. 1128. Enstat ad Iliad, ii. 25. Pans. iz. 40. 11. 
aem. Alez. Protr. 11, sec. 88. Comp. the Ztvt Homagyrius of iBgimn. Pans. 

^ Photios, p. 487. Hesch. Pans. iii. 20 ; n. 28. 


oyer the original coimtTj of the Laphystiaii Zens in Alos, Alope/ 
and Hellas'^*. Bnt this Oronian or Guretio woiship had more 
than one aspect In another view the rites of the ante-historio 
deity were more in analogy with those golden Satumian days of 
ideal piety and justice still imagined to continne in some dis- 
tant Elysiomy when sanguinary offerings were unknown *", and 
in this sense they may have contained the germs of animprored 
or " Hellenio" system, which, preferring mercy to orueltyy eren- 
tually substituted a moral power for a merely physical one'^', 
and lessened the frequency of human sacrifices if it did not 
entirely repudiate them'". It was probably through the supe- 
riority of the ^olian tribes in Southern Thessaly, their activity 
in maritime adventure, and their preponderance in the cele- 
brated confederation which afterwards became the chief Am- 
phictiony of Oreece, that the Hellenic name first became of 
importance. Doubtless Hellenism had its sources within 
Gh'eece as well as without; in the simplicity which forms the 
better aspect of the life of the savage, as also in those powerfol 
instroments and pledges of civiUsation, the sacred assemblies 
and confederations. The Olympic games were among the 
oldest institutions of Greece, dating fix>m Cronus, the Curetes, 
and the Idsei Daotyli, firom the revolutions of the stars, and the 
first conflicts of the elements ; and as the Arcadians claimed 
the birth of Zeus as having belonged to the " Gretea" on their, 
own mount Lyceeum'^^ called, like many other consecrated 
heights, "Olympus,"*'* so the Olympian Guretes may have 

^ Comp. Diad, ii. 682, with Herod, tu. 197. This Zeas it oOled " Ang" in 
the Golchian sacrifice of Fhrizus. Schol. Aristoph. Nah. 258. 

'" As at Athens before the Siechtheiun (Pans. L 26), or at the "altar of the 
pious," eontiasted with the "xMMf /Ur/Mf" (Hesych. "AnX»y**) at Deloa. Conp. 
^lian, Y. H. TiiL S. Porphyr. Abstin. il 28, sq. Theophiast in Boseh. Pr. Bt. 
]. 9. 6, p. 81, Heinichen. 

*" Jfischyl. Agam. 169. Bloom. 
. *» Qfote's Hist I 178. Smith's Antiq. art. Sacrifice. Porphyr. Abstin. ii 65. 
Bdttiger, Eonst MythoL i. 880. MliUer, Oichom. 158". 160. 

>" Pans. Yi. 20; viiL 2. 

«« Pans. TiiL 88. Strabo, yiii. 856. Schol. ApoUon. L 699. 

CRONUS. 209 

been JSotian or ^tolian^ not Cretan missionaiies, though fiom 
similaiity of name the latter may have by a common inyeraion 
been supposed to have imported what in reality was indige- 
nous'^*. The first establishment of the games belonged to the 
age when the ''Oronian" Felops"^ the favourite of Poseidon^ 
performing Nature's magic change under the auspices of De- 
meter, won the sovereignty of the country which continued to 
bear his name, the mystery of the Cthonian goddess being 
symbolically attached to the arrangements of the Hippodrome^ 
at one end representing the crowning of the victorious hero, at 
the other the descent to the abode of '' Ghamyne."*^' It may 
have been in another and later age that Hercules brought 
thither the olive from the Hyperboreans, or that the iBtohan 
OxyluB, son or predicate of Ares or Apollo '^^ was chosen 
leader of the Doiian Heraclid®, though his title of triophthal- 
mic pointed him out as no absolutely unknown stranger in the 
land of Endymion and Angeias. 

§ 24, 


But the development of " Hellenism/' i . e. of Greek im- 
provement, had another source in the extraneous relations of 
the aborigines, in the commercial intercourse of the coastmen 
of Greece with its islands and colonies \ It was in this way, 
probably, that the immediate birth of Zeus, in its commonly 
received sense synonymous with that of law and civilisation, 

»• " Aethlins," ton of Zens, is alao wm of JBoliu. Pans. y. 8. 

•" Pind. 01. iii 41. 

*" ¥itm ''x«^mm/' i. tf. Demeter "OHhomtJ* Yiflcker, Japetoi, 858. 861. 

'>*•:«. af Son-God, the ''aharp-eyed," *'m>Mt «|vf." Horn. H. Apollo, 874. 
Pind. OL m 70; or ai ton of Hnmon, the blood-itained, another predicate of Areik 
Pans. T. 3. 5. 

> Aristot Polit Tiii 6. Strabo, Tii. 801, 802. 


was genarally lefened to the island of Ciete*, whose hundred 
cities made the first Gred^' pretension to extensiye empire, and 
whose reputation for soooess in maritime adventore made it a 
natorai presomption that any chance wanderer fifom heyond 
sea might he a Cietan\ Crete was the centre of a yaiiety of 
immigrations and worsh^s, where Asiatic legends, engrafted 
upon the story of the Phrygian or Pelasgian Natore-Grod, 
afforded a clear ^ew of the materials which were the basis of 
the Hellenic religion, and which afterwards became a rich mine 
for the speculations of the Enbemerists*. It was in this island, 
formed by Nature, thought Aristotle*, to domineer over Hellas 
and its waters, that Hercules mustered the host with which he 
proceeded to do battle against the monsters of the west^, a 
story indicating probably that Crete was one of the most 
important of the emporia where Asiatic and European ideas 
intermingled, and to which the Phoenicians, generally supposed 
to be meant by the ''companions of Cadmus,"* resorted (as 
they said) in quest of Europa. The name " Enropa," if rightly 
interpreted to signify '' the dark," or '' land of evening,"* must 
have owed its origin to a people living eastward of the country 
so designated, and can scarcely be assigned to any other than 
those Sidonian adventurers who were the earliest manufacturers 
and merchants of Greece^*, who supplied its coasts and islands 

' StnOio, X. 477. Henoe eallod ihp "Ide of Zeu." Viig. iBn. m. 104. Dio- 
nyt. Perieg. ▼. 501. 

' The Qreeki claimed the traditions of Otetan gnatnesf m beloDgmg to them- 
lelyeiy though the Oretani of Minos were piobablj no more entitled to be considered 
Hellenie than the Oarians and other "barbarians" expelled by the colony of Neleos. 
JBlian, V. H. viiL 6. 

* Hom. Hymn to Demeter, 128. Odyss. zix. 172. Stnbo, z. 481. Heiod. i 8. 

* Died. y. 46. 77. 

* PoUt iL 8. ' Diod- IT. 17. 

* The sons of Agenor or Phosniz. 

* %,€. the Phosnidan Hesperia, fimn "Breb." Comp. Bnttmann, MythoL iL 
p. 176. MiUler,>Eleine Schrift iL 35; Orchom. 149. Pott, Btym. Forseh. ii. 190. 
H<>eck, Ereta, p. 88. The epithet "w^Mt^g," in the Iphigenia in Tanris (t. 680), 
may possibly have a different origin. 

'° Hence called in Homer, '* <r«Xv>«i)«X««." 

CRONUS. 801 

urith amis and trinkets, and who, in vast excavations at 
Thasos^^ and elsewhere", left indisputable tokens of their long* 
continued presence as miners and traffickers in the ^gean, 
which they fireqnented as far as Tenedos and Lemnos''. Crete, 
it was said, was cleared of wild animals by Hercules, in ac- 
knowledgment of the rich presents received from its inha- 
bitants^\ These earliest inhabitants were barbarians", called 
either, in contradistinction to later Hellenic colonists, Eteo- 
cretes", or Felasgi, because recognised by them as having an 
affinity with themselves. It was a common practice with spe- 
culative Greeks to derive all Pelasgians from the localities best 
known as Pelasgian in Thessaly and Peloponnesus; and when 
after the obUvion of centuries the dispersed members of a once 
connected race began to visit and recognise each other, they 
incorporated their presumed affiliation in legends of imaginary 
colonies, among which each theorist selected what suited best 
his own system. But, if there was any real foundation for the 
Arcadian claim to the problematical Cydones, the worshippers 
of Britomartis or Dictynna in the west of the island", it is far 
better authenticated that the '' Curetes" who founded Gnossus" 
and the prevailing Zeus worship of the eastern districts, repre- 
sent a tribe of Phrygian extraction", who, included possibly 
under the comprehensive name '* Pelasgic/' brought with them 
in an unrecorded age the worship of the Asiatic Nature-Qod 
and the noisy rites of Magna Mater (Bhea-Oybele), and were 
afterwards driven by more active and civilised races towards the 
southern coast and the fastnesses of Ida and Dicte. But the 
earliest occupation of the Cretan high places by- the ostensible 
name of Zeus is not to be confounded with the advent of his 

" Herod. tL 47. 

>* Gomp. Stnbo, x. 447. Plntaieh, de Defect One 48. 
" Plaai. Uigeschkhte der HeUenen. p. 96. 156. Hdeek, Krete, I 76, sq. 
>« Died. S. ib. » Hezod. i 178. 

^ Stcabo, X. 475, ^ 281, Tcb. » Pane. TiiL 58. 2. 

» Bofleb. Chzon. Milan, p. 267. Hdeek, 161. 

» Tlie Phoronii in Schol ApoUon. Rhod. i. 1129. Helkoiciis, Stnzi. p. 107. 
Stiabo, X. p. 469 (175, Teh.), 472 (202, Teh.). 


Hellenic namesake. If Minos was son and suooessor of Zens, 
the first Curetan Zeus was a representatiye of Oronos, already 
described to mean the wild and immoral sway of the Supreme 
Being conceptionally separated from his personality. Properly 
spea^g, the Oreek Oronus was only morally and poetically 
distinguishable from Zeus. Zeus was united with him in all 
the apparent sites of his worship^ at Athens^, at Lebadea'\ at 
Olympia''; and to say that Oronus was imknown to ritual is 
in a certain sense true, inasmuch as the isolated abstraction is 
not the real being who existed antecedently to Zeus, but unlroe, 
because Zeus as then conceived was inyested with the attri- 
butes of Cronus, together with the personality which afterwards 
devolved exclusively upon a different modification of himself. 
The name and attributes of Oronus seem to comprise a wide 
circle of mythical beings, with whom Zeus is bodi connected 
and contrasted: Lycaon^', Athamas, Atreus, (Enomaus, or 
Agamemnon**, in short, every emblem of the old Nature-Gt>d, 
considered chiefly as an object of superstitious dread, though 
partly, too, as a representative of the golden age and of hoar 
antiquity**. But the aboriginal Pelasgian Oronus became 
confounded with the distinct yet similar conception of the 
PhcBnician £1, and in this way may have acquired in relation 
to Oreek ideas a more distinct local individuality. Oronus is 
recognised as Ilus or El, in the confused genealogy reported by 
Philo of Byblus**, who again identifies his mythical con- 
federates, called Eloeim or Oronii, with the " Titanic allies," ** 

» FMB. i. 18. 7. « lb. iz. 89. 8 Bod i. 

« lb. V. 7. 4; Tiu. 2. 1. « lb. viii. 2. 1. 

M Oomp., with what follows, the expression in the Agamemnon (iBachyL y. 1011. 
Bothe), " Keep the bull from the heifer." 

** Henoe the fiusilitj of the etymcdogical xendering of Cionna by "Chmras." 
Barip. Here. Fnicns, t. 90C Aiistot. do Hand. ch. 7. 

** Bnttmann, ib. 48. 

^ "u ifl'i. K^MMi." Or as Iliades, Telchines, Idsri DactyE, &c (Xorers' 
Phoeniiier, p. 27. Enseb. Fr. Ey. L 10.) Hm Curates, too, aie sometimet e&mne- 
xated among tho ")M^nr ne< r«y K^mw.' Flntarch, do Fade in orbe Loue, ch. 
26 and 80. 

CHONUS. 803 

diBoovered in Cretan tradition, and inherited by the Greeks 
from Hesiod*'. Who those Titanic beings were, sapposing 
them to have had any other than a mere ideal existence, -whe- 
ther they represent an early tribe even more mde and cmel 
than the first Phrygian colonists'* ; or whether they are only 
an ideal expansion of the Pelasgian or Phoenician deity, t . e, 
the more ancient Guretes or Gorybantes*^ of the island, con* 
trasted with the Hellenic defenders of an improyed Zeus-wor- 
ship, is a qnestion which Diodoras seems to have been as litde 
able to answer as ourselves. The Phoenicians may have ap- 
peared under the same questionable or repuIsivB aspect to the 
aborigines as the latter did to the Hellenes ; yet, as they were 
pronounced by the oracle of Apollo to have been among the 
earliest religious instructors of the Greeks", and personified in 
Heimes-Gadmus, were supposed to have brought flx>m abroad 
the fiMsilities of art ascribed to Hermes-Prometheus at home**; 
so, under the reservation required in construing a legend which 
evidently intenningles human beings and divine**, it may be 
presumed to have been they who, as the sea-bom *' Telchines," 
manufactured the first religious statuary*^, plying their trade 
between Gyprus, Grete, and the coasts of Greece**, sometimes 
appearing as skilful artists favoured by Athene, sometimes as 
magidanB or daemons capriciously raising or quelling tempests, 

* HSeek, Kreta, L 171. Coup. u. 185, iq. 

^ Who ncrifioed children to dronus (Porphjr. Abttfai. ik p. 202), or Oraini»> 
Zeoi) (Anticlides, in Clem. Al«z. Oohort. p. 86, Potter), md wko, like the Titans, 
were deetroyen of Bp^huB DionyiQi. (Apollod. &. 1. 8.) 

^ Bueb. Fr. Bt. L 6 and 9. JnUan. Imp. Oiat. yii. 22a Diod. S. t. £8. 

** It it obeerrable that, when Herodotus derires religions lore from EgjrpI, he 
■akea CSadaras the beaver of it (oomp. ii. 49. 54 ; ir. 147. Hteck's Kreta, i. p. 51), 
combining probably in one name the idea of an indigenous divinity (the eon of 
Atlat or Kens), (Tietaea to Lycophr. 211^ with that of Phoenician oolonaation (son 
•f Agenor er Oeeanns). 

" Wekker, Tiflogie^ 187. 8iddaa,ad t. 

** e. ^., Ae sieUe of Onmns and the trident of Poseidon. Comp. Diod. t. 5& 
Slnbo^ sir. 654. Oallim. H. N. 51. Isaiah xL 19. Hdeck's Kreta, L 855L 

»• Pans. ix. 19. 1. 


and desolating the earth by destroying its produce irith sulphur 
and Styx-water. 

Among the so-styled educators of Zeus were also the Idsl 
Dactyli**, called servants of the Adrastea of Mount Ida or 
Berecynthos^ seemingly the gnomes of the mine and forge ori- 
ginally imagined by a Phrygian race« who, mimicking the vol- 
canic operations of nature in the mountain glens, were them- 
selves regarded by their cotemporaries with mingled fear and 
wonder, either as wizards or gods'^. Always connected with 
the name of '^ Id»a Mater/' either as their president or parent, 
they accompany the transfer of her worship to Orete, where, no 
longer tied to their original office, they expand into genii of the 
elements or planets*", and become confounded with Gorybantes 
and Ouretes". The Adrastea or ''Id»a" whom they serve> 
and who afterwards herself becomes one of the Cretan nurses 
of Zeus, is probably only a local form of Bhea, identical with 
the Nemesis worshipped by the ancient ''hero" Adrastus^', 
whose agency in Lydian and other legends would seem to 
place him on a parallel with Cronus ; and among the fragments 
of tradition may be found several personifications, such as Tan- 
talus, or Zeus Talaios^^ the Dactyls, Titias, and Cyllenus^, 

** Fftuf. T. 7. 4. Whether their names were formed after the lentiment that the 
•ouce of all art and wisdom it the human hand (Hesych. ad. y.), or after the topo- 
graphical metaphor in Stcabo (x. 212. TcL), it is, of coarse, idle to inquire. 

" The Phoronis, in SchoL Apollon. Bh. L 1126, 1129. Welcker, Trilogie, 171. 
174. Hdeck, Ereta, i. 194. 279, sq. Pherecyd. Stius, p. 157. Clem. Alez. Strom, 
i 15. 78, p. 860. 862, Potter. 

» Clem. Alex. Strom, y. 672. HSeck, ib. 818, sq. 

* Pans. T. 7. 4. Hoeck, ib. 207. Diod. B. y. 64. 

*^ StnOw, ziiL p. 281, Teh. Bnstaih. SchoL IL ii. 8d0, p. 767. ApoUod. iiL 

^' The stone, or mountain god. Agdistis, iBigaens, Casias, &c» Comp. Yomui 
de Theol. Qentili, L 14, p. 60. 

^ The two hitter are called leaders of the Idsu Daetyli, and "irm^^*' of the 
Mother of the Oods. SchoL Apollon. Bh. L 1126. To these may be added Calaus 
(Pans. Til 17. 5), Has (Iliad, x. 115; zL 166. 871), Mason (Diod. iiL 58), and 
e^Mcially the Dactyl Acmon, whom Hesychius, following an old tradition, makes 
identical with Uranus and Cronos. (Comp. Alcman in Eustath. to Iliad, p. 1154 
and 1150. Antimachi Frag. DObner. 42. Callim. Fn«. BentL 147.) 

CRONUS. 305 

and Teucrus^ son of Idsea, the Phrygian^' or Salaminian sacri- 
ficer of human yictims to Zeas^\ all of whom, as presumable 
consorts of Bhea, may serve to fill up the seeming blank be- 
tween the Phrygian Atys and the Cronus of the Greeks**. 

The correlated God of Phoenicia, the Cronus of the Lycian 
Solymi**, the Apollo Telchinius of Rhodes*^, whose colossal 
form probably corresponded with the gigantic Sol-Talaios of 
Crete, was Moloch, the devourer of his own children*®, God 
arrayed in his character of terror, on whose altar the first-bom 
of man and beast had been immemorially ofiered, in order to 
purchase exemption firom evil and sterility**. 

The Cretans were said to have sacrificed human victims to 
Zeus, as, by a similar perversion of names, the Lesbians to 
Dionysus *°, and this although Cretan civilisation was com- 
monly connected with the name of Zeus, and of Minos, who was 
his son by a daughter of PhGenicia*\ But the name of Minos, 
as well as that of Zeus, is used in different senses*^. The 

*» Diod. iv. 77. 

^ Lactant Inst. L 21. Teucnu aeems to connect the notion of Cronns with the 
Asiatic Apollo "Smintheos," whose worship he iutrodnced. Schol. Lycophr. 
1806. The Trojan Apollo, again, is the " Lycius/* or Lykegenes, the wolf-god, 
invoked by Glaucns. (Iliad, xvi. 514. Com. y. 173.) Many other comparisons 
might be made, as to the Zeus Chrysaor of Stratonikeia (Strabo, jdr. 660), the 
Zens-Anaz of Miletus, Z. Labrandeus, Dardanus, married to Batieia or Myrina 
(IL ii. 818. Apollod. iii. 12. 1. 5), Hus, &c. 

^ It should, however, be noticed, that a dualism of sex can scarcely be expected 
to be so dearly marked in Asiatic legend as in Gkeek, since the former seems to have 
often preferred to contemplate Nature's unity under the symbol of the herma- 

^ Plut Defect Orac. 21. Gomp. Joseph. Ap. i. 22. Flut. Yit. Alex. 17. Qn. 
SmymsD. iii 248. 

^ Talos, or Helios Colossus; Bitter, Yorhalle, 104. 

« " 'O mmrm iut^ Moyers, " Phoenirier," 81. 299. 805. 

• Serr. to -fin. iiL 141. Curtius, iv. 4. SiL Italicus, iy. 767. Comp. Leriticus, 
xriii. 20. Bxod. xiii. 2 ; xxiL 29 ; xxxir. 20. Ezek. xx. 81. Diod. xx. 14. 

•» Qhillany, " Menschenopfer der Hebrfter,'' p. 114. 222. Hdeck, Ereta, ii. p. 78. 

«i Iliad, xiT. 822. 

•* The Bomans were more circumspect in the use of the word " Jupiter," always 
rendering the Fhcenidan Moloch by " Satunus." Plutarch, Qu. Bom. 84. Buseb. 
Pr. Bv. iv. 16. Comp. i. 10. 16, p. 87*. 

VOL. I. X 


Zeus who brought the daughter of Phoenix, or Agenor, the 
sister of Cadmus'*, from the Phoenician coast, in the form of 
the Sidonian buU-idol, is mythically equivalent to the astro- 
nomical king Asteiius who marries her in Crete. Again, the 
divine bride, Europa, a name unknown to the author of the 
Iliad in the geographical sense, and who, as Herodotus re- 
marks '^ never reached the country supposed to have been 
named after her, has generally been conceived to mean the 
moon-goddess Astarte'*, virtually identical with her mother 
'' Telephassa " ("the far-shining"), and with her daughter 
" Pasiphae," or Creta (the " all shining") ", for the daughter 
of Asterius is daughter also of the Sun, and wife of Minos, or 
the Minotaur'^. The Zeus- Asterius symbolised in the Cretan 
Minotaur would thus be the homed Moloch of Phoenicia, carry- 
ing over the waters his consort Astarte, or Pasiphl&e, '' the queen 
of heaven,"** who at Paphos, Cythera, and Eryx, rose out of the 
sea as the golden Aphrodite'*; and the original Europa, whom 
the companions of Cadmus professed to seek, was not the per- 
sonified region of the West, but the inconstant Goddess who, 
in her star-besprinkled robe*^ had eloped firom the East upon 
the bull, and who, from her usefulness in navigation, might be 

^ MdUer, Eleino SchrifL iL 86. *« Herod. !▼. 4& 

^ Ft. Ladan (de I>e& SyrifiL, ch. iv.) relates that the Sidoniani had a magnificent 
temple, inppoied to be that of Astarte, whom the writer conoeires to mean the moon. 
One of the priests, howoTer, assured him that the temple belonged to Buropa, the 
sister of Cadmns. Hdeck, Eteta, i 90. Gomp. 2 Kings, zxiiL 13. Jerem. vii. 18. 

** A daughter of Helios, SchoL Eurip. Hoc. 888, or 826, bronght by mythologists 
from the Ck»Ichian Sun-genealogy to be made wife of Minos. 

•^ Apollod. iii. 1. 8. 

«• Jeremiah xliv. 17. The moon, "ashtar,*' or m^^. The Uzanian Aphrodite 
(Pans. i. 14. 6. Herod, i. 106), worshipped first by the Assyrians, afterwards by 
the Phcenicians and Oyprians ; the fiir wandering lo, Isis, or Semiramis, consort of 
£1, Baal, Baalsemen (Euseb. Fr. Et. L 10. 6) ; the rape of Europa bemg a meafuxe 
of retaliation for that of lo, that is, an equivalent transaction. 

«* Diod. S. iy. 88, also called <<Pasiphfte," Laur. Lydus de Mensibus, 244, 

"^ Compare Millingen, Peintnres de Vases Grecs. Plate 26. Hdeck, Kreta* 
i. 97. 

CRONUS. 807 

jtiBtly called the celestial beacon of the mariner ", as, on the 
other hand, she was the disastrous torch signal of Medea ^', or 
that of the Argive fleet on its night return fix>m Tenedos to 
Troy*'. The first Cretan Zeus would therefore seem to have 
been properly an amalgamation of the Phoenician and Greek 
Cronus, and to have owed his ambiguity of name to a revolu- 
tion of opinion among that portion of the Cretan popula* 
tion, Pelasgian and Dorian, who ^* also introduced their own 
domestic personifications, such as Deucalion, into the local 
genealogy, blending him as father of Creta with Asterius'^, the 
solar deity equivalent to Cronus-Zeus. But the Greeks gene- 
rally gave the name of Cronus alone, as the Bomans invariably 
did that of Satumus, to the Phoenician or Carthaginian Baal 
notoriously worshipped in Crete and through the Mediter- 
ranean ; for, of the two aspects included in Cronus, the benign 
and the Titanic, the latter, owing to the separate personification 
of Zeus, ultimately became his' predominant characteristic. 
Hence the Greeks almost excIuBively dwelt on the inhuman 
sacrifioes of Cronus, his annual offerings of the first-bom ^, 
how parents slew their own progeny, or bought th^ offspring 
of the poor for the same horrid purpose ; and they explained 
the fisible of Cronus devouring his own children by these dread- 
ful realities '^^ of which the story of the Minotaur was pro- 
bably only another form. The sickle with which he mutilated 

•> Gomp. Diad, ziz. 874, 875. Tlie object of the Cadmeana waa said not to ob- 
tain powearion of Biuropa, bnt of Burope (Conon. no. 87) ; the real aim of the 
mariner being not the planet which directa his oonrse, bat the port for which he 

** Supra, p. 210. It was particdarlj mentioned in the " Little Iliad," that the 
fidl of Troy oocnrred at the time of fall moon. The appearance of the beacon- 
symbol, •' XafMTn^ twTH kf^i^tn ^mt *i^m»r»m,** was precursor of the murder 
of Agamemnon t» VU haJth, Glytsemnestia holding the torch while the crime is 
being committed. Winkelman, Qeschichte der Konst, t. 8, s. 16. 

^ Yiig. ma. iL 256. 

^ Bither they or the logographers who afterwards arranged the series of their 

** Apollod. iii. 1| 2 ; iii 8. 1. 

• Bnttmann, MyihoL iL 41. 51. * Diod. S. rx. 14. 

X 2 


his father is a cosmogonical application of a well-known sym-. 
bol, primarily agricultural''', yet not unconnected probably with 
that sacrificial practice of Asiatic priests for which circumcision 
was substituted as a milder rite; and the stone which replaced 
the living God was doubtless akin to the Asiatic *' Bethel/' 
some local fetichistic emblem, or heaven-descended image **, 
the story of the swallowing and ejection being founded partly 
on the phenomena of aerolites, partly on the physical succes- 
sion of generation and death, both of which the stone, for 
example, the stone which concealed the sword of iEgeus, 
symbolically expressed. • From the comprehensiveness of sym- 
bolical expression, it often happens that, with the interpretation 
of one aspect of a personification, the task is only begun, and 
the symbol is discovered to be many-sided, with bearings htde 
connected, or even conflicting. It would be vain to seek in 
the memorials of the affiliation of an idea the same consist- 
ency which we expect in an historical pedigree, and it is need- 
less to scrutinise too closely those mythical contradictions 
which excited no astonishment among those who were familiar 
with their nature'®. Zeus never really usurped the place of 
Cronus either in heaven or earth; his nominal reign had been 
uninterruptedly continued; the Zeus "if^arog" of Cecrops 
might still be called a Oronus by Philochorus'*, and even the 
atrocities of the Laphystian and Lycaean hills passed under 
the name of the higher impersonation. Cronus could be wor- 
shipped only as Zeus, or under some specific appellation, 
either of a hero or god, and the periodical festival peculiar 
to him in Italy was celebrated in honour of Hermes in 
Crete'*, of Zeus-Pelorus in Thessaly, in Troezen of Poseidon, 
in Athens of Dionysus". But his name, though rarely pre- 

** Comp. Movers, Phoenizier, 272. 422. 435. Roienmiiller to JoBhua, zi. 4, and 
zriL 16, with Futtmaim, u. 8. p. 29. 54. Clem. Alex. Strom, i. 862. Botti^ 
Ideen, i. 228. 

• **Aitinrtt.** Comp. Eu8eb. Pr. Bv. 1 10. 18. 

^ Pans. viiL 53. Schol. Soph. Elect 539. 

71 Hacrob. S. i. 10. Comp. Pans. i. 18 and 26. ' 

" H6eck, Kreta, iiL 89. " Biittmami, ib. 55. 

CRONUS. 309 

served in ritual, remained the symbol of ancient religion, as 
that of Deucalion was the type of ancient ancestry. The same 
generality of idea belongs to the Curetes, who sometimes asso- 
ciated with Deucalion, with Cronus^*, or with Zeus, were ifrom 
the local pre-eminence of Zeus- worship and its ancient orgiastic 
character thought so peculiarly and characteristically Cretan ^^ 
that they were called children of a Cretan nymph ^^ and the 
island called " Curetan land"^^ was said to have taken its name 
from them'*. Their dance is the wild orgy of antiquity, com- 
moD, as Strabo says, to barbarians, and to the more ancient 
Hellenes. They were supposed to have come to Crete subse- 
quently to the IdsBi Dactyli, and, if not descended from them, 
were presumed, from their high antiquity, to have been earth- 
bom or autochthonous ''. ** They lived in the forests and moun- 
tain caves, they were shepherds, hunters, and keepers of bees, 
inventors of armour, aud of armed dances.""® They were, in 
short, the rude population whose customs they reflected, having 
no more claim to be considered as autochthonous than the Idsei 
Dactyli sometimes confounded with them> and whom the Fho- 
ronis asserted to be Phrygian. In their day there lived at 
Cnossus a race of Titans, whom the Greek historian, following 
the established theogony, asserts to have been sons of Uranus 
and Geea, or of one of the Curetes by Titcea** (Earth), and to 
have been the first who, according to the pragmatical view, 
were, in consideration of the benefits they had conferred, per- 
mitted after death to reside on Olympus *''. In their higher 

'« Proclus in Plat Polit. Welcker, Tril. 193. 

^* ** I'imt i«^rfXiir«." Stnbo, x. 465. 468 (170), Tcb. Pliny, N. H. Til 57. 

'• '' Danais," i. «., the Cretan Danai. Tsetz. Lycophr. 78. 

77 " emXMfuvfUi K^y^rmf." Enrip. Bacchse, 120. Curetis, Plin. N. H. iy. 20. 
ServiuB to Yiig. ^n. iii. 181. 

* Also, perhaps, many of its district names, as Corycns, Cape Crio, the island 
Coiyca, and Gnossus, anciently K«M^r«f. Strabo, z. 476. Others, howerer, make 
.Kfirtt a Greek word, in the sense of " /ufuyfuttt" Pott, Btym. Forsch. ii. 661, 
So Crete, Rhodes, and Sicyon were called Telchinia, and Attica, Titania. 

'^ Hoeck, Kreta, i. 281, sq. •• Comp. Diod. S. v. 66. 

*i Probably another name of Bhea. Schol. ApoUou. £h. i 1126. 

« Diod. ib. 67, ad fin. 


significanby the Guretes might themselyes be termed Titans, or 
early gods of Cronian character"*, that is, they in part repre- 
sented the barbarian worshippers who sacrificed children to 
Cronus'^, but in the subsequent arrangement of Cretan legend, 
in which Greek and oriental notions, as well as the past and 
present of Greece itself were intermingled, the religious retro- 
spect was differently and more accurately subdivided; the 
Curetes were said to have been educators of the HJellenic God, 
and their darker character, as associates of a Greek or oriental 
Cronus, was transferred to the Titans, eventually overborne by 
the preponderance of Zeus. And as in the final arrangement 
of the world the abode of Cronus and his Titans was placed 
in the still barbaric West**, so the West of Crete was, under 
similar relative circumstances, supposed to have been the even- 
tual dwelling of these local adversaries of the supreme Deity"* 
after the analogy of their prototypes. 

§ 25. 


Th/9 infancy of Zeus, like that of many other celebrated 
heroes, was beset witb peril. Heaven and Earth had an- 
nounced to Cronus his approaching deposition by the hands of 
his sonS so that, in order to anticipate the rivalry of the 
^' Ou^avimeg"* the ancient God devoured his children as they 
were bom, until Bhea, when about to bring forth that child, 
who, though her youngest, had been already appointed by Fate 
to be "Father of gods and men,"' was ''sent*' through the 

•* Stiabo, z. p. 203, Tchuk. Pana. W. SI. 9, kc 

** later in Porphyr. ut Bupr. Boseb. Pr. Br. iv. p. 11. Clem. Alex. Gokort 
iii. 86, Pott 
» Diod. S. iiL 60. Oic N. D. iiL 17. •• Diod. t. 66. 

> Hei. Theog. 468. * " Sou of Heayen." 

' Theog. 457. 468. 478. 


precautions of Uranns and Gr»a to Crete, where she arrived 
'' bearing her preoioas burthen through the dark night," and 
where the divine babe was received and brought up by Geea. 
It was inevitable in the legendary masquerade, where the same 
being appeared under many forms, that the disguised personi- 
fications should often meet and jostle each other; that Bhea 
or Athene, for instance, should seem different from Gfloa, and 
thatErectheus orTityus^, Dionysus or Zeus, should in their so- 
called nurses have a repetition of their parent. The first ele- 
ments of Cretan Zeus- worship would appear to have been im- 
ported', since Bhea, i.e., the Phrygian Magna-Mater^ was 
an emigrant or fiigitive, who afterwards sent again to Phrygia 
for Curetes to act as supplementary nurses to her infant son^. 
The night journey of the wandering goddess is followed by the 
appearance of Zeus in the ancient city Lyctus'; his birth-place, 
the Idffian cavern, afterwards made the scene of Curetan 
mysteries, may represent the abyss of Hades* from whence 
the heroes of light arise, and to which they return. But it 
may also be a type of the grottos of the Pelasgi, and of their 
troglodytic life ; the nurture of the God on milk and honey 
may reflect their nomadic habits'®, his preservation amidst the 
wild dance of the Curetes the forms of their superstitions ; 
while his victories may in part exemplify the heroic age of 
Crete, anticipating the conquests ascribed to Minos, and inti- 
mating the rudimentary establishment of those institutions 
which afterwards became so celebrated when the Dorian states 
professed to have adopted them as their model. Thesa traditions 
are, however, more certainly to be understood as symbols of an 
antique nature- worship, when the Cretan '' children of Ida' 


« ApoUon. Rh. i. 762. 

* Zens wai also nid to hare been bom m Lydia or Fbiygia. Lydni de Mens. 
228, B5th. Scbol. ApoUon. Bb. iii. 184. 

' Stnbo, z. 173, Tcb. 

f Strabo, ib. p. 202, Tcb. Hoeck, Ereta, i 288. ' Polyb. ir. 54. 

* Anton. Lib. 19. >* Diod. S. ▼. 65; sup. p. 809. 
" Aiistopb. Ran. 1856. 


may be supposed to have hailed the natiyity of their deity on 
the summit of the same mountains^* whose dark recesses 
preserved the secret of his death; where each year, as in 
the annual miracle of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, a fire 
was said to blaze up out of the recesses of the cavern, per- 
petuating his mysterious revival in the circle of the seasons". 
In process of time the Greek Zeus usurped the ascendancy of 
the Cronus or Asterius of Crete, Minos was reputed to be his 
son, and again, the Deucalion of ^olian or Pelasgian genea- 
logy was made a son of Minos. "" There were conflicting opi- 
nions, says Strabo**, respecting Minos", some representing 
him as a native of the island, others as a foreigner^*: some 
making him a just ruler and lawgiver, others a sanguinary 
tyrant." That is, if we may venture to put a construction on 
the riddle of antiquity, it was difficult to say whether the ele- 
ments of Cretan civilization, heterogenous as they must be 
allowed to have been, were indigenous or foreign ; or whether, 
being still mixed up with the legends of an Asiatic Moloch, a 
Nature-God alternately placid and austere, a moral and phy- 
sical dualism", they could be looked upon as the genuine pro- 
duct of Hellenic eunomy. The equivocal character of Minos 
was explained radonalistically by the later Greeks as origi- 
nating in patriotic jealousy, and they attempted to refute the 
obloquy usually attached to his name by referring to Homer 
and Hesiod as evidence in his favour". But it would be more 
natural to understand the migratory bull, and the penalties ex- 
acted for the death of Androgeos or flight of Deedalus as me- 

** Diod. a T. 70. Gomp. Laar. Lydiu, p. 96. 228, Both, "nx^fm i» r^ I^i, 
r«vrI«Yiv, cr Tf rm^m l)if 1^/U9f w^fSf. Hoeck, Kreta, uL 811. 

" Anton. Lib. 19. " x. 477. 

^ Probably the Menu, Menes, or Manes of other countries. Beferenees in Hoeck, 
IL 46. Dion. Hal. i. 27. Herod, i. 94. Menag. to Diog. v. 35. PoU's Btym. 
Forschongen, ii. 69. 

" Oomp. Ephorus in Biodonu, t. 64. 

" Crenx. S. ir. 262. Gnigniaut, iii. 491. 

» Ps. Plato, Minos, 320. Plat Yit. Thes. ch. XTi. Bustat. ad Odyss. X 574 
p. 523. 


morials of an obsolete religion, whose symbols, when no longer 
understood, were converted into a rough explanation of the 
traditional relations between the two countries. The snn's 
temporary exile was imagined to be a punishment for his cupi- 
dity or cruelty'*, and the ancient subjugation of Attica was 
referred to a supposed guilty act, which in reality was only the 
annual death of Nature, commemorated^^ in the Moloch sacri- 
fices of Athens ^^ as well as of Crete, the gloomy spirit of the 
latter being personified in Minos, to whom Nisus was obliged 
to resign his purple hair, and whose embrace was synonymous 
with death '^. But though the guilt of Athens, in this respect, 
was in all probability equal to that of its Cretan sovereign, it 
seemed, in a later age, when the fury of the Marathonian bull 
had been curbed by civilization, as if the bloody tribute had 
been a tyrannical exaction, and as if the Minos who inflicted 
it must have been personally distinct from the just lawgiver, 
just as the Apollo " Telchinius" of Lycia or Bhodes, anterior 
to the Dorians, was not the Greek God, but the father of the 
HeUades, the *' sun-wolf" (Lycus the Telchin), the Phoenician 
Baal of the Solymi ". 

Minos is a complex conception ; he is both god and man ; 
he represents the ancient condition of the island, when Talus 
exacted periodical victims, and again, the Hellenic ^ revolution, 
when, for the second time, and in a new character, he might 

'* For instance that of Apollo, of Lyciirgas, the stories of Tantalus, Aristseus, 
Adnstus, Procris, &c. 

^ The tribute to the Minotanr was either a yearly one (" ««r« trtt*** ApoUod. 
]ii. 15, end. Sery. to Yirg. ^n. Ti. 21), or sent at the ezpicaiion of a cycle of nine 
years. It was probably similar to that exacted by Orchomenos from Thebes, 
(supr. p. 277), until the latter was emancipated by Hercules. 
• ^ The Attic Thargelia occurred in May, the Oschophoria and Fnanepsia in Oc- 

" ApoUod. ilL 15. 1. 5. Hence, probably» the epithet '' •x^t^^v/* applied to 
Minos. Odyss. zL 822. Comp. Nitzsch. ad loc. with Miiller, " Ares," p. 65. 

^ Diod. Y. 55, 56. Joseph. Apion. I 22. HiSeck, Ereta, ii. 831. 363. Plut. 
de Defect, ch. xzi. 

** AboTe, p. 300, n. 8, and comp. Paus. vii. 8. 1 and 4. 


be said to have received laws from Zeus. His name denotes 
both the seemingly inexplicable combinations of physical na- 
ture (Pasiphfte and the Minotaur), and also the lessons of 
civilization supposed to have been communicated within the 
same mysterious caverns*^ which had once been the scene of a 
hateful superstition. Minos is an incarnation of his father 
Zeus. His second father, Asterius, is a commentary on the 
astronomical nature of his first. He marries a repetition of the 
lunar bride of his parent (Pasiphfte), a daughter, as it would 
seem, from the explanation of the logographers, of the Colchian 
dynasty of the Sun, or what amounts to nearly the same thing 
under another form, the island itself (Greta), personified as 
daughter of Asterius. As father of Deucalion he is another Pro- 
metheus, connecting human genealogy with an antique race of 
gods, and his death plausibly fills up the chasm between the an- 
cient Nature-God and his father's immortality. In the develop- 
ment of the idea, the higher or more divine characteristics were 
reserved to Zeus, while the heroic or human proceedings together 
with the superseded symbols of nature-worship were reserved 
to Minos, or, for the purpose of greater distinctness, still fur- 
ther subdivided between a superior and a secondary Minos. 
These symbols and stories are a condensed record of the mythic 
renown and peculiarities of Crete. Here, in an otherwise un- 
recorded struggle between races and opinions, may be supposed 
to have occurred one of those battles of Gods with Titans, 
which afterwards became the general dramatic emblem of a 
mental revolution, and the poetical machine through which 
theogonists endeavoured to bridge over the chasm between 
older creeds and new. Here is said to have occurred the cele- 
brated substitution of the stone, the fetichistic relic which men 

* The LBbyrmth of Gnossiu, ooiuidered as a building, wm probably only aa 
ideal tranaferenee to Crete of the Egyptian symbol, the transfer being founded on 
coemological theory connected with the consecrated grottos of Mount Ida (eomp. 
Hdeck, Kreta, i 56. 64. 447, sq.), and the notion of the recovery of the year (by 
Theseus) from the caverns of the under world. 


oontiBaed to marvel at in Arcadia or at Delphi**, and, unwill- 
ing to acknowledge the object to have itself been the symbo- 
lical Grod of antiquity, qnaintly imagined it to be a trick by 
which beneficent Nature had exposed a mere block, instead of 
her own undying power, to be the victim demanded by her in- 
evitable vicissitudes'^. It was here that Cronus was driven 
from his ancient throne, or, in other words, that the Mino- 
tauric Asterion^' of Asia, periodically fed like his Greek repre- 
sentative Oronus on human victims, was made to resign his 
attributes, and in part his name, to the new ascendancy of 
Minos-Zeus, who usurped his Phodnician bride, and by con- 
quering the oriental intruders into t)ie Grecian seas became 
paramount among the maritime races of the ^gean**. Of the 
latter, the most powerful had been the Carians, who, though 
generally considered by the Greeks as barbarous or foreign, 
were probably part of the same Thracian or Felasgic stock, a 
race widely spread not only through the islands but over the 
Asiatic continent, and speaking a language common to My- 
fiians, Maeonians, Gaunians and Lycians*^. Before connected 

* Ftm. TO. 22; viiL 86. Hes. Theog. 500. 

. s7 Lycophr. Oassandr. 400. 1201. Croniu, son of Unmufl, is himtdf the UxKiiid 
Bctylm, u e. Battus, or Hermes " lithintu," the stone he was supposed in his sore- 
reign capacity to hare swallowed. The assignment of the name Bsetylos to this 
atone by Hesychius may be supposed to point to the Semitic origin of the legend. 
Mount Lebanon was fiunons for its Betylia, respecting which many marreUoiis 
■tones were told. (Photins, p. 1047. 1068.) The ancient Hebrew Ood Bl was the 
" stone of Israel " (Genes, xliz. 24. Oomp. Dent, xxiil 18. 20. Ban. ii 84, 85. 
1 Cor. X. 4)f and the periodical drying of a river, the Nahr-el-Kelb, near Bairoot, 
was attributed to the thirst of the wintry giant after swallowing the stone. (Comp. 
Movers, Phoenizier, 262. 805. Nonni Dionys. 41. 72.) Zeus had probably been 
worshipped under the form of a stone (Lactant Inst L 20, p. Ill), and the legend 
may be a device to account for the eonceptional chasm between the fetish and the 
God. H5eck, Eieta, L 168, 169. 

" *' AtfTn^Mf rn mXni*9Tm Un§ra9^w,*' Apollod. iii. 1. 

* Heiod. L 171. Thucyd. I 4. 

** Oar was brother of Mysus and Lydus. Herod, i. 171. 178. Comp. Thucyd. 
i. 8. H5eck, Ereta, iL 7. 216. 218. 248. 802. 850. Comp. Herod, ii. 61. 152. 154, 
and Wilkinson's Observations on the '^Shairetana," Bgypt, L 866. Winer, B. W.B. 
1, art *' Crethi." Movers, die Phoenizier, p. 17, 18. 


with Phoenicians, they now became allied with Minos'*, fonn- 
ing, in conjunction with the Cretans", a powerful maritime 
confederacy, whose influence extended not only over the Cy- 
clades, but to Athens, Megara, and iSgina**, along the Asiatic 
shores from Lycia** to Troas**, and through the Mediterranean 
to Sicily". 

In those days a seafaring life was almost invariably a 
piratical one; and, notwithstanding the Greek claim to the 
empire of Minos as Hellenic"^, it is probable that the practice 
of the united Cretans and Garians was in accordance with the 
predatory habits which preceded and followed their supre- 
macy". The Minos who, according to Thucydides, drove the 
Carians and Leleges out of the islands, must have been the 
Dorians and lonians'* under the Cretan symbol; and though, 
in the ancient or " Minoan " times properly so called, the ele- 
ments of civil poUty may really have been better understood in 
Crete than on the neighbouring coasts of Greece, the renown 
of Cretan legislation was practically verified only in its later 
development^, when Dorian institutions were referred to the 

'* They were not tributary, but manned the ships of Hinos. Herod. L 171. 

** " n(«rX«/3«vr«9 K^iir»»." Strabo, xii 578. 

^ Strabo, viii. 237. 248, Teh. Pans. i. 19 and 89. 

'* Pans. vii. 2. 

^ Hdeck, ii. p. 286, sq. This fact, cooperating with certain identities of names 
and religious forms (Strabo, z. 472 (206, Teh.) ), and the general disposition to 
make the Crete the author of races and institutions, may have given rise to the story 
of the Cretan origin of the Teucrians, which many, including Virgil (Aneid, ii£ 
105), adopted after the elegiac poet Callinus. (Strabo, xiiL 604 (864, Teh.) ). 

^ Herod. viL 170. Gomp. SchoL Pind. Nem. iv. 95. Aristot Polit ii. 8. 62. 
The adventnrouA race who sailed to Thrace, Phoenicia, and Bgypt (Odyss. xit. 
246, sq.), may with equal probability be conceived to have reached Sicily, where 
they had been preceded by Phoenicians and Taphians. Hoeck, ii. 872. 879. 
Odyss. i. 184 ; xv. 427 ; xxiv. 807. 
. "^ Pans. vii. 8. 1. 

^ The Cretans of later times had the character of liars, robbers, and intriguers. 
Polyb. iv. 8 ; vi. 46. Hoeck, ii. 210. 

» Strabo, xiv. 661. 

*^ The traces of the so-called laws of Rhadamanthus indicate the habits of rude 
antiquity, the lex talionit (Aristot. Eth. Nic. v. 5. 8), the justification of homicide 


local theocracy^ and engrafted upon the venerated traditions of 
Minos and Zeus^'. The first Minos^ like the first Zeus, be- 
longed to an age of barbarism^; yet the same age gave birth 
to conceptions connecting it with what followed, and which, 
personified^, might be called the nurses or protectors of Zeus, 
as representing the earliest forms of his worship. The basis 
of the power of Minos was the maritime force and the spirit 
of the heroic age locally emblazoned in his name. The story 
of the brazen race was not a mere figment, for the Guretes, the 
legendary link between the Gronian dynasties and the Hellenic, 
actually bore that title as the '';caA«a0'9ri^E; 9r^oyoyo<" of the 
actual race^^ clothed in armour furnished by their ancestors 
the Ideei Dactyli** or firom the forges of Ghalcis*', and be- 
coming the type of those brazen men, the HoplitaB of later 
times, who in the course of their half commercial, half pirati- 
cal expeditions^^ appeared to rise firom the sea to the assistance 
of Psammetichus^'. It was significantly said that Zeus, the 
son of Gronus, made the brazen and heroic races after the silver 
had been destroyed^*. The brazen age may in part represent 
the heroic age celebrated by Homer ; a tribe of warriors with 
feudal privileges, wearing armour usually of foreign manufac- 
ture which they carried in peace as well as war^*, and referring 
to Zeus as arbiter of their combats, and author of their race'\ 
The moral character of the God so named reflected that of the 

(Apollod. ii. 4. 9), the iwearing by animali. SchoL AristoplL Ayes, 621. Poiphyr. 
de Abft 249. 

«* Plato, Laws, 1 1, p. 624. *^ Herod, i. 178. 

^ Ai Guretes. 

** Pind. OL iz. 60. Stnbo, z. 472. ApoUon. Bh. iy. 1641. Tsetses to Heiiod, 
Works, 142. ' 

** Brass haviDg been generally used before iron. Ydlker, Japetns, p. 278. Pans, 
ill. 8. 6. 

« Comp. Strabo, x 446. 466. 467 (28. 149. 161, Tcb.). Welcker, Tiilogie, 
194. MiUler, Oichom. 126. The Cnretes were said to have Erst donned their 
annonr in Enboea. Strabo, z. 472. Steph. Byz. toc Aj^h^h* 

^ MuUer, ib. 106. '• Herod, ii. 162. Comp. Thucyd. i, 6. 

"• Hettod. Op. 144. 168. <• Thncyd. i. 6, 6. 

ii Comp. Plass, Urgeschiehto der HeUenen, L 202. 


people who fought under his banner. The Garians, hated for 
their restless habits by the Greeks ^'» worshipped the god of 
armies (Zeos-Stratios), carrying the battle-axe^ and the kin- 
dred nature of the original Cretan deity, a Cronus more pro- 
perly than a Zeus, is indicated by the martial equipment of his 
attendants *'. The empire of Minos was physical as well as 
political, a reUgious symbol rather than a distinct historical 
recollection^, and the limits of its extent seemed by a curious 
accident to haye coincided with those of the sun'^. Minos 
was a general personification of Zeus whose sceptre he bore*^ 
and his sons established in the Cyclades represented the pan- 
theon of which his father was head. The issue of the sun and 
moon (Zeus and Europa) is himself a solar symbol; his herds 
pasture with those of HeUos^^, among them being the celebrated 
bull, the guarantee and symbol of his power ^', the avenger (as 
the Minotaur) of Androgeos, whom itself had destroyed; or, 
again, he is the pursuer of the moon (Dictynna), or of the me- 
chanician of the starry dances (Dedalus),^* whom he sought 
in those western regions*" firom whence there is no return but 
through the shades '\ His physical and earliest symbols are 
repeated in the brazen wardour Talus, by some called also 
Taurus^, who scared the Argonauts from the cruel shores 

« Strabo, xiy. 661. 

^ Hoeck, iL 825. The Salian priests of Borne too wen s^nuits of Man; 
" X«^«T«M Ttttt r«ff tf^rXmp Buif" BioD. H. 2, ch. Ixz. p. 884. 

'^ Herod, iii 122 " Tnt )s •90^§Mr9tnt Jayfunu ytnnt tlAim^urtif urt w^mrt^ 

** Herod, yii 170. Simonidis Fngm. GkusE 180. Minos, according to the 
legend, had been received with deceitful professions of amity by Gocalns in Sicily, 
but met with ihe fiite of Pelias, Agamemnon, Hybs, &&, being killed while 

•■ Hesiod. in pseud. Plat Minos, 820. Fngm. Gdttling, 112. 

•' Apollod. iil 1. 8, s. iL Ser?. to Yiig. Bdog. yi 60. 

* ApoUod. ib. 

* Gomp. Iliad, zviiL 590. Eurip. Blectra, 467. Fxag. Sisyphoa, L 84. 
•0 Herod. tH. 170. 

** Hence, probably, it is that Bhadamanthus alone, as Minos, or Sol-infenu, is 
heard of as returning fivm west to east in Phseadan yessels. Odyss. yii. 828. 
•* Apollod. i. 9. 26. 


which he stained with the hlood of strangers, circling round 
the island daily, or thrice in correspondence with the three sea- 
sons of the year''. Zeus, too, issues in the spring from the 
oavems of Ida as presiding genius of the year*^ under the bull- 
symbol, as husband of the ox-eyed Juno, ravisher of Europa, 
father by lo of the bull Apis or Epaphus, and by Semele of 
the ox-footed Dionysus. It was in this sense that he was 
fabled to be unnerved by Typhon, to be father of the Hone, 
to pay an annual visit to the iBthiopians, and to lead the 
astronomical revolutions of the -Gods in the Phaedrus of 
Plato ^. It is well known that Crete pretended to show the 
sepulchre of its deity '^ a report which the Greeks naturally 
refused to accept in reference to the name of Zeus, and their 
refusal has been as decidedly reiterated by modems'^. Tet the 
elements of Zeus-worship are admitted to have been nature- 
worship, derivative •*, probably, from the nature-worship of 
Phrygia, whose deity was worshipped in the grave '^ and at- 
tended with dirges of woe as well as orgies of rejoicing. But 
the idea which to the Greeks seemed revolting as applied to 
Zeus they readily accepted in regard to lasius, to Dionysus, 
or to Zagreus. lasius, who had as many homes as there were 
settlements of Pelasgi^^, was that son of Zeus and Electra of 
whom Demeter became enamoured at the great cosmical mar- 
riage feast of Cadmus and Harmonia. In Crete, the humanised 
genius ^^ naturally appeared a son of Minos, instead of a son 

** Pi. Plato, Minoi, p. 820. HSeck, iL 71. 

** Af0t fwyakw iMMM-M." Iliad, il 184i Aiati Ph«n. 84. Plutarch, Qu. 
Rom. 76. 

^ Hacrolniui diBciiBses at length (Sat. i. 23) the identity of Zena with the Son. 

" The giaye of Zeu continued to be an object of rdigious worship for tome cen- 
tnriee after Christ (Hin. Felix, ch. xrii.), and is still shown to traveUers in the 
neighbourhood of Cnossus, on Mount Juktas, near Arkhines. Pashley's Crete, i. 

^ Hdeck, Ereta, i 241 ; but see the contradiction, ib. iii. 881. 

" Minos, too, is called a foreigner. Bphoms in Died. t. 64, supr. p. 812. 

* Atys, for example, buried at Pessinns. *^ Hoeck, L 880; iii. 812. 

** 'H^r, Hesiod. Theog. 962. 


of Zens''*, and haying there begot the world's wealth (Plutas, 
or Pluto), by the great goddess (Demeter) whose mysteries he 
founded^', his death, according to ancient precedent, seemed 
to have been a punishment for the temerity of his love. lasius 
was in Crete reputed one of the Idsei Dactyli, or Curetes'*; 
that is, he was a divinity appertaining to the Cretan mysteries, 
of which the chief theme was the preservation, education, and 
entombment of Zeus^*. Crete, however, had also its Diony- 
sus^', whose separate worship may have been immediately de- 
rived from the Thracian settlement of Naxos'^, or possibly 
from the Argive home of the Amythaonids connected with 
Crete in the strongly Bacchic story of Glaucus and Polyidus^*, 
but whose affinity with Zeus was not peculiar to Boeotia, 
and whose reception, facilitated by the kindred nature of the 
Thracian and Cretan deities, was rather that of a new name 
than of a new idea. Orpheus became, as it were, a dis- 
ciple of the Idaei Dactyli", probably in the same sense 
in which he was made a pupil of Bhadamanthus and of 
Egypt The races and rites of Thrace and Phrygia in- 
timately resembled each other '^ the resemblance being the 
natural result of an original identity '\ Hence Strabo says 
that the same orgiastic worship which the generality of the 
Greeks offered to Dionysus assumed in Crete the q>ecial form 
of mysteries of Zeus'*. The Naxian sacred marriage of Dio- 
nysus and Ariadne was the counterpart of the Cretan'" alliance 
of Zeus and H6re'^. Through the legendary analogy, the 

^ Scbol. Theocrit iu. 50. » Diod. t. 48, 49. 

" Pans. V. 7. 4. Serv. to JBneid, iii 111. 

f* Lactant. Inst i. 21, p. 128. '■ Paul. ii. 28. 7. Diod. ▼. 75. 

" Hoeck, Kreta, iL 160, sq. ; iii. 179. Comp. Diod. t. 60. 

^ H5eck, ib. iiL 294. 296. The marine demon, G^laacoa, ieems to unite Hennei, 
Dionysus, and Poseidon. Athense. yii. 726. 

« Diod. S. V. 64. «> gtrabo, x. 470. •» lb. 471. 

** Strabo, X. 468. " O! EXX«Mf «/ wXmtm rm Aiow^y— ly )i -nf Kf^r^ »ai 
TmvTa, »«) T* T9V A««f ii^« Huff tifinkur:" 

« Pans. i. 18. H6eck, iu. 312. Diod. v. 72. 

" Diod. V. 72. 


Naxian adventures and personality of Dionysus were occa- 
sionally transferred to Crete**, as, on the other hand, Zeus 
took refoge from Cronus at Naxos**, and conferred upon Ari- 
adne the immortality*^ which in her own island she probably 
received fix)m her consort". To the Chthonian aspect of the 
Cretan God (Khadamanthus **) were referred, in the capacity of 
deputies or " sons," those analogous personifications in the 
Cyclades who, in Greek language, would have been sons 
of Dionysus**. Through this coalition, the Zagreus, whom in 
Bacchic legend either the Titans or some analogous personi- 
fications of the warring elements were supposed to tear in 
pieces'*, replaced the infant Zeus, protected by the Curetan 
dance; and when a learned writer** compares the rites of Dio- 
nysus, " afuaiioq" with those of Moloch, rites in which the 
votary mimicked the fancied sufferings of the God**, he only 
makes a more specific adjustment between the attributes repre- 
sented by Dionysus and those of the Zeus- Cronus supposed 
to have been Phoenician. The Cretan God might therefore be 
correctly addressed as 

** Igneous, pure parent of Time, immortal Zeus,'*'* 

** Hyg. P. Att. ii. 5, p. 867. Comp., in regard to the fhnon of Dionynis with 
Zeus-worship, the expression K»u^»n fi»Mx»s»** Burip. Cretenses, Frag. 2, and 
Bacchs, 122. 

" Eratosth. Catast. 30, referred to by Laur. Lyd. de Mens., p. 228, Rother. 

^ Hee. Tbeog. 949. 

" Quinti Posthomerica, iy. 887. Propert. iii. 15. 8. 

* Hence Rhadamanthus was said, after the death of Amphitryon, to have been 
married to Alcmene, when both bride and bridegroom were in the grave. Plutarch, 
Tit Lysander, 28. Tzetzes to Lycophr. 50. 

^ Such as Anins, Staphylus, (Enopion, Thoas, and the Carian deity Athymbros, 
or Atymnius. Stym. M. toc. Ajm^. 

** Terpander, in Laur. Lydus, p. 82. Clem. Alex. Potteri, p. 15. Hoeck, Kreta, 
1 173 ; iii. 183, sq. 

•* Ghillany, Menschenopfer der Hebrfier, p. 224. 858. 485' \ 528' K 

" Jul. Firmicus, ib. p. 14, " Omnia per ordinem fementes qn» puer morions aut 
fecit aut passns est." Yoss, in his Mjrthologische Forschungen, iii. 81, would make 
the bull symbol of the Phrygian Sabasius a deriTatire from the JehoYah of Jero- 

•♦ Orph. H. vii. 18. 

VOL. I. Y 


and likewise as 

" Dionysus Zeus, &ther of sea and land, all-generating Sun."** 

In this latter character, too, he might as readily coalesce with 
the Sun-god Apollo, whose original worship brought to Delphi 
from " the cmcient gardens of Phoebus beyond the confines of 
night and the inverted slope of heaven," ^ was by the Dorians 
subsequently imported into Crete ®\ The Greeks spoke 6f 
foreign reUgions after the analogy of their own, confounding 
the local gods of their colonies with the nearest Homeric 
approximation. Many Asiatic deities were thus absorbed in 
Greek equivalents ; Mopsus is son of Apollo, as Sarpedon and 
Bhadamanthus of Zeus, and Branchus, whose mother was 
pregnant of the sun, and who suddenly disappeared from among 
men**', is to be identified with the eventual occupant of the 
Didymeean temple only as the Hyacinthus of Amyclas or 
Delphic Dionysus®' could blend with the immortal whose elB&gy 
was placed beside their tombs. The arrangement of gods thus 
became a process of synthesis as well as analysis; and as in 
reference to their ultimate significancy they may be said to 
approximate like branches of a single root, or like many 
streams springing from one sky and flowing to the same sea, 
in another view they fall asunder in regard to the local wor- 
ships which they were individually made to absorb, each deity 
being the Hellenic class-name for a separate head of assortment 
and reference. When by this process the attributes of earlier 
gods had been respectively absorbed in Zeus and in Apollo, 
these two personifications threatened in turn to absorb each 
other, when the natal city of Zeus came under the concurrent 
dominion of the god of the Dorians ^"^ and the two powers 
were said to have contended for the sovereignty of the island'"'. 

" Oiph. Frag. 7. 

** Soph. ap. Strabon. riL 295, t. e. the Hyperboreans. 

•' MuUer, Dor. " Schol. Stat. Theb. tiU. 198. 

«* Philochonis, Frag. 22, p. 387. Didot. Hoeck, Ereta, iiL 188. 

'«» Muller, Dor. i. 227. 

>*> Cicero, de N. D. iii. 28, p. 615, Creuz. 


The competition may represent the similarity of the gods as 
well as the rivalry of their respective worshippers. The " far- 
darting" lynx-eyed god*^, the "Triophthalmic" leader of the 
returning Heraclid® is nearly related to the wide beholding 
hnsband of Europa"*; both are fathers of the Graces"*, both 
wield the iEgis and the thunderbolt"*. The seeming rivalry 
of the two conceptions was amicably adjusted by associating 
them together as father and son, and according to a custom 
often observable of attempting to explain, as it were, a foreign 
pantheio symbol to the eye by an accumulation of several Ho- 
meric analogues, their worship Was frequently united. It was, for 
instance, impossible to say which of the two was original owner 
of the sanctuary of the Branchidee"*, whether the Olarian 
oracle might not have once more properly belonged to Diony- 
sus'" or Zeus****, whether even the Mouse- God of "Chryse" 
might not have had a more general meaning than that implied 
in the common rendering of the Homeric Smintheus"". There 
was an Argive*", an Arcadian Apollo'" before the Dorians, 
and the Cretan lover of Acacallis who passed under the same 
name"' may have been a local divinity associated with Brito- 

»•* Oxylus, ApoUod. ii. 8. 8, 4. 

^ Hes. Theog. 907. Pans. ix. 861. 

>•• niad, XT. 820. Apollod. ix. 26. 2. Utchold, Yorhalle, i. 299, femarka tbst 
eqnivaleiit personifications of the Uianian Deity are identified by the possession of 
the Mg\B, 

*•• Steph. Bye. " Didyma." Mtiller, Dor. i. 270. Callimachi Fragm. Blomf. 
86, p. 182. 

'** Ifopsns, Apollod. iii. 7. Fans. vii. 8. 1. 

"* Zeus-Olarins. Bustathius to Dionys. p. 444. 

'* Comp. 1 Sam. vi. 18, and the notion connecting the god of the underworld 
(Chryses-Plnto or'Plutiis) with the idea of wealth. Plutarch, Sympos. iv. 5. 2. 5. 
Fngm. Tagenist 445. Aristoph. Plut. 727. When Chryses, son of Apollo Smin- 
theus and Cbryseis, claims brotherhood with Orestes, his fiither becomes paralleled 
with Agamemnon, t. e. the Gaiian or Achaean Zeus. 

»» Paus. ii. 19. 8. 

"* lb. Tiii. 88. 6. Comp. the instances collected by MUller to prore that Apollo 
was exdusiTely Dorian. Dor. i. p. 220 note. 

'» Pan*, z. 16, 8 

Y 2 



mards, and corresponding perhaps more nearly with the Pelas- 
gian consort of Penelope or Persephone"*. Crete, howeyer, 
was properly the isle of Zeus"*, as Delos and Delphi the 
fiivoured seats of Apollo. The place of the Cretan Apollo had 
originally been filled by Zeus. But when Crete as well as 
Peloponnesus had been occupied by " Heraclidee," these Dorian 
worshippers of Apollo carried with them the reUgion inherited 
from their fastnesses on Parnassus"*, yet without displacing 
the more ancient traditions of the island. Zeus was already a 
Greek conception which in Crete had preserved a more im- 
posing breadth only perhaps in consequence of its local isola- 
tion, and Minos, if not properly Hellenic, had at least the 
reputation of having wrested the empire of the seas from 
foreigners, and vested it in a race of Pelasgio affinity. The 
conquest effected by the Dorians was attended with poUtical 
results similar to those consequent on their permanent settle- 
ment in Greece. The former inhabitants were reduced to vas- 
salage, but were allowed to continue their ancient customs so 
far as they were not unfavourable to the usurpation of the new 
settlers"*. The distinctions of privilege and caste commonly 
resulting from conquest, and which lonians had established in 
Attica, and Acheeans in Peloponnesus, may have already pre- 
vailed to some extent in Crete before the more rigid demar- 
cations of the Dorians"'^; but the notion of Dorian polity 
being wholly derivative from the Cretan"*, arose from the 
absurdity of attributing the abrupt origination of that polity to 
Lycurgus, i. e, the human personage so named who was sixth 
in descent from Procles"**, in defiance of the wise saying of the 
lawgiver who, when complimented upon having established a 

'^' Hermes. Paiu. Tiii. 53. 2. 

"^ Yirg. iEneid, iii. 104. Dionys. P. v. 501. Comp. Diod. ▼. 77, where the 
historian discovers an Artemis " Cresia," but no Cretan ApoUo. 

"' Strabo, ix. 417. Bnstathius, Schol. to Odyss. xiz. 176, p. 1861, line 19. 

"• Aristot. Polit ii. 8^ 

"» Aristot. Polit. ii. 8 ; vii. d. 

"• Strabo, X. 281. 284. Teh. 

"' The fiither of the first Cretan colonist baring been the contempoiary of Prodet. 


perfect system of laws, replied, '" I may know perhaps what are 
best, but I proposed only those which were possible." **® In 
connecting their institutions with the local authority of Minos, 
the Dorians only subscribed to the general feeling that all law 
is of divine appointment, and in the desire to adopt this time- 
honoured name into their own genealogies without infiinging 
his relationship to Zeus, they now, probably for the first time, 
invented the story of an ancient Dorian colonist ^'\ as appro- 
priate author of Doric institutions, who in bygone times had 
migrated firom the cradle'** of the Pelasgic and Doric races, 
and adopted the astronomical gods of Crete for his children 
and successors^**. Minos and Zeus henceforth became Dorian, 
the birth of the latter was transferred from Cnossus to the 
Dorian metropolis, Lyctus, and a second Minos, son for 
a similar reason of Lyctus or Lycastus, holding, like Pelops, 
the sceptre of Zeus, became inheritor of all the better aspects 
of the first, who in his periodical communications with the 
Deity was made to observe the ancient Doric cycle perpetuated 
among the customs of the Spartan kings ^'^. But in all their 

■«• Procl. in Tiiiiie. 25*. 

191 (( ^eutaiDus or Tecsapbas, son of Donu.** Andron in Stepb. Byz. yoc. A«^im. 

**• Thcisaly. 

*" Hdeck, Kreta, ii. 86. iq. But though the tradition in the sense of a Dorian 
colony may be fictitions, it does not follow that it should be wholly a gratuitous in- 
yention, since some such morement of Pelasgians may very possibly have occurred 
in ante- historic times. Gomp. Herod, vii. 171. Diod. v. 80. The name Teuta- 
mos given by Diodorus (iv. 60), otherwise written Tecsaphus or Cercaphus (Eusta- 
tbius to Odyss. ziz. 172, p. 1861), was Felasgian. Iliad, iL 843. Apollod. ii. 
4. 4. HelLinicuB in Dionys. i. 28. Stuns. Fragm. 76, p. 108. 

*^ On the word "tfnm^" Odyss. ziz. 179, comp. Schol. Ambros. to Od. 
iii. 267. Hdeck, Kreta, i. 248; ii. 120, sq. Uailer, Orchom. 215. Plutarch, 
Life of Agis, and de Defect. 14. 21. Censorin. de D. N. ch. 18. It seems, how- 
eyer, that the lunar-solar Ennaeteris commemorated not only in the mythi of 
Apollo, but in those of the Aloidae, and particularly of the pursuit of Brito- 
martis (the moon) by Minoa, (Hoeck, i. 246. Callim. H. Dian. 198), was by no 
means peculiar to the Dorians, but to be found also among the lonians (comp. 
Hymn ApolL Del 104) and the northern tribes generally. Comp. Gesenius to 
Isaiah, ii. p. 222. 


wanderings the Dorians looked back from their distant set- 
tlements to Delphi as the metropolis of their state and their 
religion ^'^; there Lycurgus prooured for his laws the diidne 
sanction given in Crete by Zeus to Minos ^'^, the Delphian or 
Delphinian god accompanied their colonies, and without any 
real contest became associated in Crete with Zeus. It is pos- 
sible that in the old times of Cretan maritime ascendancy a 
foundation ^'^ may have been laid for the tradition that the 
first Olympic games were instituted by " Curetes" out of Crete, 
and that the precedent of all succeeding contests was there 
enacted in the struggle of Zeus against Cronus ''', and in a re- 
petition of his victory over the Titans, the "wfOT^fw B^oi*' 
upon Grecian soil. But the legend which brought a colony of 
Cretans to preside as priests over the Delphic oracle in all 
probability arose out of the pilgrimages and sacred missions to 
the central ApoUinic sanctuary prevalent among all Dorian 
colonies, and partly from a reactionary influence of the Cretan 
priestly order of *' Curetes,*' constituting, it would seem, down 
to late times a priestly incorporation skilled in the lore of 
lustrations and atonement, and of which Epimenides and Tha- 
letas were members*''*. It was probably the fusion of the old 
Zeus-religion with that of Dionysus"" and Apollo among these 
later Curetes which gave rise to the story about Orpheus being 
a pupU of the Idsei Dactyli'" or of Rhadamanthus, and about 
Pythagoras and Onomacritus being personally initiated in the 

»»» Pind. Isthm. vii. 18. Herod, tu. 169. Paus. iii. 1. 5; iii. 2. 4. 

*^ Minos being Zivcw/Mifrnt, and Lycuigus Apollo. Nemenua de N. H. 
ch. 39. Plato, Laws, i. 1. 

1'-^' Comp. on the ancient connection between Crete and Peloponnesus, Iliad, 
iii. 282. Odyss. xiii. 274 ; xru. 528; xix, 191. H. Apollo, Pyth. 292. 

"• Paus. V. 7; viii. 2. 

>'^ Plutarch, Vit. Solon. 12. Diog. Laert i. 115. Eurip. Bacchm, 120. Cm- 
tenses, Ft. 2. There seems also to have been a Curetan college at Bphesus. Strabo, 
xiv. 640. 

*^ Eurip. Bacchse, 122. Frag. Cretenses, 2. 

"^ Diod. T. 64. The Idsei Dactyll being often confounded with Curetes. For- 
phyr. viL Pyth. p. 17 (32, Kiesaling). Hoeck, iii. 297. 299. 325. 


Ideean grotto. It was they from whom proceeded the oracular 
voice attributed to Polyidus^*^ and in whose hands the old 
orgiastic worship of Zeus assumed the forms of mysteries ^'^ 
but whose more open and undisguised treatment of the forms 
of Nature-worship combined with the local claim to all the 
descendants of the father of the gpds^^^ systematised in volu- 
minous treatises, prepared the way for the profane applications 
of the Euhemerists^'^. The earliest Delphic religion seems to 
have been a sun-worship, founded at the Gorycian cave by 
Goretas ; the sanctuary grew from a rude hut into a symbolical 
vault of brass ''^ and ultimately became a fabric of stone reared' 
by the divine architects descended from Apollo or Zeus'"^. 
Themis, or Titanic Earth, mother of Nature and of the gods"*, 
first presided over the oracle which she afterwards consigned to 
the son of Latona*^^, who in the Homeric hymn takes posses- 
sion of it by way of the Athenian theoris through (Enoe"®. 
Delphi, reverenced by lonians as well as Dorians, might be 
said when Grete became its religious dependent^^', to be the 
national sanctuary of Greece, the principal depository of its 
standard mythi. There Apollo destroyed the dragon^ and it 
was there too that Gronus was forced by Zeus to reproduce 
what he had concealed, and first of all, the antiquated symbol 
of his own worship"*. Becognising in the countries they suc- 
cessively visited a repetition of ideas like their own, the Greeks 

*'' ApoUod. ill 8. Hence the proverb, Kstt^nratf ^r»ftM, meaning the gift of pro- 

i3> Hence the idea of Zens dancing. Athenae. i. 19. 

»• Diod. S. V. 77. Hoeck, iii. 807. 

'» Creu2.S. i. 116; iii. U8. 

ICC tt xaXjbm; »v(»v§t* Pauaanias, z. 5, compares with it the temple of M. Chal- 
dseca, or vanlt of Dan&i at Sparta. Oomp. Iliad, i. 426. 

*" Hymn. Apoll. 296. Schol. Aristoph. Nnb. 508. Steph. toc. Delphi. Pans, 
iz. 87. 8 ; i. 11. Stnbo, ix. 421. 

** Pind. Nem. yi. 3. Hes. Theog. 117. Soph. Antig. 838. 

»» JEschyl. Bum. 7. Pans. viiL 6 ; x. 6. Nitaach to Odyw. ii. 68, p. 77. 

"• Strabo, ix. 8 

■«> Plntarch, TheMms, 16. Qosest. Ghnec. 85. 

'" Hes. Theog. 


seem to have treated Crete as they afterwards did Egypt 
They were disposed in their admiration to consider the newly 
discovered as aboriginal, the old as derivative ; they adopted 
Minos, as they had already in Peloponnesus adopted ^acus 
and Agamemnon ^^', and in the tradition which received at 
Delphi reappears in Hesiod, Zeus receives his birth in a 
Dorian town. Cretan reUgion thus became a conjoint worship 
of Apollo and of Zeus, or rather of the supreme power repre- 
sented by the sun, and under this symbol comprehending the 
chief attributes of both ^^. Apollo was the sun, and the sun 
•was Zeus***. One of the earliest Delphian temples was com- 
posed of the spoils of those bees who nourished the sovereign 
of heaven in the Dicteean cavern '**, and the Curetes, the chil- 
dren of Apollo, guarded the infant Zeus through the hazards of 
his Cretan birth**'. The original triad of the Muses, daugh- 
ters of Uranus or Zeus***, and presided over by Apollo, are the 
" Aiog ^AffAovta" the sacred chorus of his father, and his pro- 
phetic office is only a deputed ministration which he holds as 
dispenser of the oracles of Zeus**®, the ultimate source of Del- 
phic inspiration. Zeus when thus estabUshed at Delphi in the 
person of his son, might be said to have married his second 
wife in its presidential Themis, the mother of the Muses or 
Hor8B**\ as in numberless other alliances he was made under 
the symbol of parentage to embrace every aspect of nature. 

"» Find. 01. viii. 40. 

^** The presence of the Deitj being ererywhere compared to a manifeftation of 
the source of light ^schyl. Choeph. 948. 

»« Orphic H. vii. 18; xxxiii. 8. 21 ; Frag. 28. 10. ProcL in Timae. vL 12, 
p. S76. 

"• Virg. Georg. iv. 161. Pau8..x. 5. 

»« Schol. Lycophr. v. 78. 

>« Paus. ix. 29. 

1^ " r«M/if «i«f ." iBschyl. Enmenid. xvii. 554. 558. Bothe. Serr. ad ifin. 
iii. 251. Schol. Soph. CBd. R. 151. 498. Creiiz. S. iii. 193". ^schyl. Frag. 
Sat i. 2. Those oracles which were as dark by day as by night Aachyl. 
Choeph. 802. 

»" Hes. Theog. 901. Oomp. Paus. ix. 29. Diod. I 16. Plut, de Defect 21. 
iBschyL Suppl. Bothe. 881. 


The attribute of prophecy which he deputed to Apollo was not 
founded solely on his representing the " all-seeing, all-hearing 
sun," but upon the higher notion of Pantheistic omniscience, 
which may have been inherited from the forests of Epirus or 
transplanted from the shores of Asia. Poetry and philosophy 
served only to give different forms of expression to the same 
immemorial sentiment which, through the treatment of art 
receding from its universality, lost in intellectual compass what 
it gained in distinctness. The comprehensiveness of the ori- 
ginal feeling was preserved only in the most ancient symbols, 
such as the scarabeeus pointing out the ''great DodonsBan 
parent and artificer,''"^ as the all- generating ungenerated 
cause"*, and the triform or triophthalmic statues of Argolis and 
Corinth **', exhibiting his triple dominion over time and space. 
And if Zeus was Triopian or Triophthalmic, so also was his 
son or correlative Apollo***. Apollo again was akin to the 
Nomian Pan*", the "wapeJpo? of Ehea," and foster-brother of 
Zeus"**. In the person of Zeus every element and every deity 
are united **^ ; his mythical brethren, the autocrats of the sea 
and shades, were felt to be repetitions of himself***. It was 
not without reason that Arcadia and many other places"' dis- 
puted with Crete the honour of his birth **®, for the seemingly 
new deity was only a reproduction of the Pelasgian or Lyceean 
Pantheism under a new form. When the starry Atlas is placed 
under his feet upon the blue parapet surrounding the base of 

»« Pind. Fragm. Incerf. 19. Creuz. S. iii. 197. 

1S3 Fhilostrat Heroic, ii. 19. Creuz. S. i. 28. 

i** Pauaan. ii. 2 and 24; yiii. 46. 2. MiiUer, Dor. i. 68. Comp. Iliad, xy. 189. 

»»* Herod. L 144. Hymn, Apollo, P. 88. 

^ Soph. (Ed. T. 1100. Schol. iBschyl. Agam. 56. 

"• Schol. Pind. Pyth. iii. 139. Bratosth. 27. 

W7 iBschyL Frag. Inc. 86 or 846. 

>» ^schyl. Suppl. 228. 728. Bothe. Soph. (Ed. Colon. 1606. Pans. ii. 24. 5 ; 
Yii. 21. 8. Creuz. Symb. iii. 259, 260. 

"• As Thebes (Tzctzes to Lycophr. 1194), Messenia, the Troad, Lydia, &c. 

»•• Pans. iv. 88; riii. 88. Comp. Schol Apollon. iii. 184. Schol. Pind. 01. 
V. 42. 


his Olympian statue '^\ we are reminded that in his allotment 
of supremacy he only retained the eethereal dominion which he 
originally possessed as Hoi](ierio parent of Aphrodite, who in 
Hesiod is daughter of Uranus. Athene shared with him the 
office of thunderer, which he continued to hold as eethereal^", 
and even deities most unlike him in their conventional per- 
sonality hetray incidental affinities inevitable supposing their 
ultimate paralleUsm. Dionysus is Pfofiioi, {^' Zeus, epififOfAos), 
the thunderer, " God the Supreme, inferior to none,"**' the old 
oracular Silenus, father of Apollo, and leader of the Muses *^. 
The fire which earth received or stole from heaven belonged 
not only to Hephaestus but to Zeus**^ and the long line of the 
Acheean descendants of Hermes was referred to the same 
source***. The fiction which made the subordinate gods, suoh 
as Apollo and Dionysus, his children**^, was a poetical expres- 
sion of the reed metaphysical connexion between these deriva- 
tives and himself. If Pausanias saw in Arcadia*** the statue 
of Zeus by Polycletus invested with the thyrsus and other 
Bacchic attributes, the tauriform god ushered into existence by 
the thunder showers of spring**®, nursed by the Dodonaean 
nymphs"*, and recovering his reason at the oracular shrine of 
his father"*, is only a specific form of the prolific genius of 
humidity, the vernal Zeus of Juvenal*^*, wedded either to 
Maia, orDione*^*, whose riches were represerited in Cadmean 
genealogy by the kindred name of Polydorus and in Thes- 
protia by the horn of the bull-god Achelous. When Ennius*^* 

'«' Paufl. V. 11. 2. 

'•' Welcker, Tril. 279. iEschyl. Bum. 825. 

>" Eurip. Bacchae, 766. 

'•» Gnigniaut, R. iii. 237. Enrip. v. »upr. 1072. 1078. 

'« Hes. Works, 61. Iliad, i. 598. 

>« niad, ii. 102. '"^ JEschyl. Choeph. 773. 

'•• Tiii. 31. 2. '•• Ziwj Karat^eerns. 

•70 Pherecyd. Sturz. 109. 111. Creux. iii. 78. 96. 

«7i Hyg. P. A. ii. 23. 

'7« Sat. V. 78. PauH. y. ch. 22. i. ^73 Volcker, U. S. 82. 

»7* Cic. N. D. ii. 25, p. 306, Creuz. 


and Euripides"*, and, earlier than either, Phereoydes, speak of 
Zeus as the all-encircling aether, an idea which passed into a 
common phrase "^ the epic son of Cronus is correcdy felt to 
be one with the mystic " son of heaven," "^ or rather himself to 
be the firmament or Uranus of the ancient Persian"*, repre- 
sented under a symbol borrowed perhaps from Scythian 
habits"'', and insensibly becoming separated from what was 
eventually discovered to be only his envelopment or dwelling. 
And when in the celebrated verses sagaciously referred by 
Plutarch to the Theologers who preceded Thales"^ Zeus is 
described as the " Tmyn Trnyav," the source of sources, the pan- 
theistic aggregate of nature, the beginning, middle, and end, 
the androgynous principle of whom sun and moon are mem- 
bers, as well as the historical or mythical deities poetically but 
not really distinguished from him ^''^ it might be urged that 
this enlarged conception was a late refinement upon the heroio 
or Homeric, if Homer himself had not given unquestionable 
evidence of its antiquity by occasionally himself withdrawing 
the veil of humanising imagery which hides the father of all 
gods "greater even than Oceanus,""* whom the combined 
powers of nature are unable to displace^"'. But the process 
through which the pantheistic god had been transformed into 
the personcd was attended with inevitable contradictions, and 
the wish to recombine the unravelled attributes of Deity into 
one sublime whole was thwarted by the coarse physical imagery 
with which it had become connected. Hence the Zeus of 
Homer, like that of Hesiod, is an array of antitheses, com- 
bining strength with weakness, wisdom with folly, universal 

"* Frag. IncerL 1. 

"• " Sub Jove iiigido," or " Malus Jnpiter," for bad weather. 
"' Gic N.D. iii. 21. -fflschyl. Frag. 81. 
»« Herod. Tii 8. 

1'* Comp. Herod, ir. 23. Pherecyd. Stnrz. p. 46. 

*•* De Defect. Orac. ch. 48, and called by Plato, Laws, iv. 716', a " ^ukmt9f 
Xtytr MuUer, Mythol. p. 316. 

*" Ariitotle de Mundo, 7. Orph. H. 7 and 11. Frag. 6, 7. 

'" Iliad, xxL 195. '■« Iliad, viii. 20. 450. 


parentage with narrow family limitation, omnipotent control 
over events with submission to a superior destiny *", destiny, a 
name by means of which the theological problem was cast 
back into the original obscurity out of which the powers of the 
human mind have proved themselves as incapable of rescuing 
it, as the efforts of a fly caught in a spider's web to do more 
than increase its entanglement. 



The great aim of reason is to generalise ; to discover unity 
in multiplicity, order in apparent confusion ; to separate from 
the accidental and transitory the stable and universal. We 
are said to understand a thing when we can account for it : 
that is, when we can refer it to some intelhgible standard, 
or see in it the working of some principle through which 
it blends with what we knew before. In the contemplation 
of nature, and the vague but almost intuitive perception of 
a general uniformity of plan among endless varieties of 
operation and form, arise those solemn and reverential feelings 
which, if accompanied by intellectual activity, may eventually 
ripen into philosophy. The inductive philosophy is but an 
attempt to make this general uniformity intelligible by dissect- 
ing it, and by reducing each of its elementary constituents to 
some principle which, when discovered, takes its place in 
science as an empirical or ultimate law. But the idea of the 
universal preceded the recognition of any system for its ex- 
planation ; it was felt rather than understood, and it was long 
before the grand conception on which all philosophy rests, 
received through dehberate investigation that analytical de- 
velopment which might properly entitle it to tlie name. The 

!•* MiUler, Mythol. Trans, p. 187 ; Iliad, L 684 ; riii. 69 ; xv. 197 ; xxii 209. 
Creuz. S. iii. 100. 


Bentiment^ when first observed by the self-conscious mind, was, 
like all things unaccountable and remote, ascribed to inspira- 
tion. '* It was a divine gift communicated to mankind by 
some Prometheus, or by those ancients who lived nearer to the 
Gods than our degenerate selves." ' The endeavour to grapple 
with the aggregate uniformity without decomposing it, or to 
decompose it solely through the imagination, produced not 
philosophy but religious poetry. Eager to unlock the universe 
by a master-key, and to embrace all varieties of phenomena in 
one comprehensive generedisation, the mind deduced from its 
first experiences the notion of a general cause or antecedent, 
which it called Zeus, or God. This inference, however im- 
portant a step towards the elevation of man's moral being, 
amounted intellectually only to the statement of a theorem 
which was obscure in proportion to its generality. It ex- 
plained all things but itself; it was a vera causa, but an in- 
comprehensible one. Ages had to pass before the nature of 
the theorem could be rightly appreciated, and before men ac- 
knowledging the first cause to be an object of faith rather 
than science, were contented to confine their researches to 
those nearer relations of existence and succession which are 
really within the reach of their faculties. The newly awakened 
intellect, elated with its own powers and discoveries, deserted 
the real for a hastily formed ideal world, and the imagination 
usurped the place of reason in attempting to put a construc- 
tion on the most general and indefinite of conceptions, by 
transmuting its symbols into realities, and by substantialising 
it under a thousand arbitrary forms. When these forms had 
become permanently fixed as creations of art, they were already, 
in great measure, separated from the faith or reverential feeling 
in which they originated. The old problem had to be resumed, 
but the resumption was, in many respects, only a repetition of 
the old procedure. The same feeling which, in earlier times, 
had given birth to the idea of Zeus, first as a pantheistic mys- 

» Plato, Phileb. 16. 


tery, afterwards as a personified indiyidnal, again produced the 
notionalities of transcendental philosophy, clothed, indeed, in 
more argumentative forms of language, hut equally claiming 
superstitious deference, and reposing ultimately on views of 
nature scarcely more profound than those revealed to the ear- 
liest symbohsts. The poetical reUgion of Greece had been 
an aftergrowth of its hieratic thoughts ; and to the same source 
may he traced the philosophy with which the poetical creations 
eventually came into coUision. Poetry reposed on the same 
basis as philosophy ; it was a feeling of the one in many ; an 
attempt to grasp the universal, which, though overlooking im- 
portant differences in the pleasure of contemplating a super- 
ficial class of resemblances, seemed, through the irresistible 
tendency to dramatise and personify*, to have deliberately 
abandoned the unity it sought. In the poetry of Homer, a 
world built, as it were, out of the fragments and ruins of an- 
other, the idea of divine unity had become, as in nature, ob- 
scured by a multifarious symbolism. The feeling to which his 
personifications owed their origin had been forgotten ; and so 
complete was the confusion, that the poet was popularly re- 
garded as the founder of religion, although the artificial character 
of his creations, for instance in Deimos, Fhobus, Hypnos, &c., 
like the usurping Ood Dinus of comedy*, must have often been 
obvious to himself. Yet the idea of unity was obscured rather 
than extinguished, and Xenophanes appeared as an enemy of 
Homer, only because he more emphatically insisted on the 
monotheistic element, which in poetry has been comparatively 
overlooked. Philosophy, the eventual rival of poetry, was, if 
not its offspring, at least its twin-brother, collaterally descended 
firom the hieratic systems out of which poetry and mjrthology 
arose. Hence the saying that the priests were the predecessors 

* Poetry is analysis as well m synthesis ; *' it may at pleasure join what nature 
has severed, and sever that which nature hath joined ; and so make unlawful 
matches and divorces of things." Bacon, Advancement of Learning, Book ii. 

* Aristoph. Clouds, 826. 


of the philosophers*; for it has generally happened, in the intel- 
lectual development of the world, that the first thinkers have 
been theological mystics*. Of the three forms of religious 
discipline distinguished by Sccevolo orVant)**, the physical, 
the poetical or mythic, and the established or political, and 
which are assigned respectively to philosophers, to poets, and 
to legislators, the first or natural system belongs equally to the 
theologian and to the philosopher ; for the first philosophy was 
only a return to the theology of Nature, in which argument, in 
some measure, took place of mere imagery, but whose pre- 
mises and data were of the most superficial kind. Both in 
their turn claimed to be oracles of pure truth, rather than 
effusions of imagination, and both signally failed in realising 
the boast. It is difficult to appreciate correctly the measure 
of that appeal to the reason which conferred a distinct charac- 
ter in the infancy of philosophy. Beason, in its first professed 
efforts, attempted like theology the hardest problems ; and in 
trying to emulate the rapidity of the imagination, it uncon- 
sciously became its dupe. Like poetry, it began with an 
examination of the divine, but gave to it a different expres- 
sion'. It was, however, only a slight difference of treatment 
through which the religious dogmas of antiquity were made 
to assume the guise and name of a philosophy. A feeble at- 
tempt at originality, a superficial appeal firom traditional dog- 

* ** n^nrfivrmru ^Xtfo^an ifXtys,"* Pint de Anhn. Procr. in Timse. xxzviii. 
p. 1080. Heiaclites waa said to have borrowed from Orpheus, and Anaxagoias 
firom Liniu. Brandis, i. p. 88. 

* ETen Parmenides is ranked b; Plato with Hesiod, as a theologer, or cosmo- 
gonist. Earsten's Parmen. pp. 20, 21. Plato, 8ymp. p. 195. Plutarch, Pyth. 
Ora£. 18. Diog. L. ix. 8. 8. 

* Plutaich de Plac. 6. Amatorius, p. 768. Augustin de Civit. iy. 27. Gieseler's 
Church Hist Introd. i. s. 18, n. 11, 12. 

' Yet the Ionian epos and hymn might be said to have, in some respects, fur- 
nished the formal precedent as well as the text of the earliest Ionian physics, and 
the Dorian lyric and gnomic muse to have been the commencement of ethics and 
dialectics. The Attic drama blended the lyric with epic action, and the three great 
departments of philosophy were united in the schools of Athens. 


mas to fact and nature, was probably sufBcient in the person of 
Thales' to convert the one procedure into the other. Yet the 
change of denomination was justified by a real revolution in 
the exercise of independent thought; and the Ionian ''sages" 
were justly deemed to have originated a new intellectual era, 
because their speculations, however puerile or inconclusive in 
themselves, offered, through an appeal to the understanding, 
the means of emancipation fix)m theological restraints, and 
were an important preparatory training for higher efforts of 
thought. They adopted, indeed, much from an older wisdom ; 
yet not as dogmas to be received without question, but as sug- 
gestions to be examined, and, after a certain fashion, proved. 
Unnecessary pains have been taken to disconnect the career of 
the Ionian physiologers from the general history of thought, 
and to make the commencement of the* philosophy of Greece 
as independent of external parentage as the Autochthones 
who peopled its soil. But the present is ever the growth and 
consequence of the past, and the inherent life with which the 
lonians endowed their universal element was but the ensouled 
world of Pantheism, a reunion of the elements which poetry 
had parted and personified. It was the Eastern dogma, set 
forth in the argumentative spirit of the West as a physical pro- 
position. The first attempts made to solve argumentatively 
the problem of the universe, were necessarily under the same 
sensuous influences as those which had given birth to sym- 
bolism ; for the mind is slow to learn the necessity of self- 
examination, and is^ of course, limited in the search after 
causes to the sphere of its own consciousness. AU philosophy 
is an effort to discover reality; and in every school of philo- 
sophy, the Ionian as well as Eleatic, was implied a doubt as to 

" The origin of philosophy ii sometime! attributed to Thales, sometimes to Anaxi- 
mander. Aristot Metaph. i. 3. It is hardly necessary to assume any era of com- 
mencement, since the first philosophy was so nearly allied to theology. Aristotle 
enumerates three stages in the almost insensible change ; the " mythical poets cat 
theologers," the " fUfuyfaui,'* and the ** h* ««4ii^i«rf Xiyctrif .'* Hetaph. ii. 


the efiScacy of the senses for the purpose. But the douht was 
only the commencement of a task which the mind was as yet 
impotent to perfoim. Poetry had lost unity in the attempt to 
decompose it hy the sole aid of the senses and imagination ; 
the first philosophy reasserted unity, hut, heing unequal to in- 
vestigate its nature, again resigned it to the world of approxi- 
mate sensations, and became bewildered in materialism. The 
''All" was considered as substance, partaking the visible and 
tangible modifications of substance; yet with this difference, 
that while all objects of sense have a beginning and an end, 
the conceplional totality or first element was made some re- 
finement of matter unchangeable in its essence, though subject 
to mutations of quality and form in an eternal succession of 
seeming decay and regeneration*. This first principle, or 
" «fX»i," was compared to water, air, or fire, as each speculator 
endeavoured to refine upon the doctrine of his predecessor, or 
was influenced by a different class of theological traditions ^^ 

§ 27. 


The Greek poets, as well as the early philosophers, had felt 
the universe to be a compound of the mental with the material ; 
but with the former the life of nature was a blind necessity* ; 
while the development of its intelligent government came to be 
referred to a race of personifications in whom the idea of 
descent replaced that of cause, or of pantheistic evolution*. 

' Amt. Metaph. L 8. 8. 

'^ Eftrth waa not made an m^z^f apparently on acconnt of its inert and groia 
nature, until it became an "element" in the system of Empedocles. Aristot. 
Metaph. i. 8. 8 ; iy. 8 ; riii. 5. 

' *';^Mir« »fuyt^»t mntynn'* Orph. Argon. 12. Plato, Sympos. 418. 417. 

* The notion of generated gods, says Heyne, arose firom the difficulty of express- 
ing the abstract idea of cause. Tet a more obvious way of doing this would have 
been by the words *' making" or "forming;** these, however, would have been 
nnsnited to express that aboriginal feeling of natural religion, in which the Deity 
was always conceived as more or less mixed up or identified with Nature. 

VOL. I. Z 


In the philoBophical systems the divine activity* was restored 
without subdivision or reservation to nature's aggregate; at 
first as a mechanical force or life, afterwards as an all-per- 
vading soul or inherent thought, and, lastly, as an external 
directing intelligenoe. But in the first ezperimmtal examina- 
tion of those natural objects which had hitherto, conounenily 
with the personifications of poetry, been esteemed as gods, il 
was their substantial and visible composition which attracted 
notice, rather than the intelligent or living power residing 
in them ; just as the first deified personifications of nature bor- 
rowed the form of man, without much aid from an appreciation 
of his mental feoidties. Hence the Ionian revival of pantheism 
was materialistic; the moving force was inseparable from a 
material element, a subtle yet visible ingredi^it^. Metaphysios 
were mixed up with physics^; and as theological systems had 
assumed some favourite element as peculiarly original and 
divine, so the philosophers continued to seek for the Chaos or 
genetic Oceanus of poetry among the visible things of nature. 
Under the form of air or fire, the principle of life was asso- 
ciated with its most obvious material machinery '. Everything, 
it was said, is alive and full of gods^ ; the wonders of the vol- 
cano, the magnet, the ebb and flow of the tide, are vital in- 
dications, the breathing or moving of the Cosmic Leviathan. 
The water lives with a divine inherent energy, to which Cicero 
unguardedly gives the name of "mind,"* but which is in 
reality only the universal 'i'^x^, or animal life*, supposed by 
the first physical inijuirers to be a sufficient explanation of the 
phenomena of change and motion. The idea was similar, whe- 
ther the object was a specific element, or a remote abstraction ; 

* iir vXw ttitt. Aristot. Metaph. i. 3. 

' Bacon, De Augment. Sclent L. S, oh. 4, epeaktf of the injurious eflfect of mSzing 
teleology with physics. 
< Stob. Eclog. Phys. 66. 

^ Gic. de Leg. ii. 11. Arist de Anim. L 2 and 5. IMog. L. L 27. 
> Gie. N. D. L 10. Stob. Bclog. Phys. L 8, p. 64. 

* Arist. de Anim. i. 8. Herod, ill 10. 


the impeic^ptible eether of Anaximenes had no positiye quality 
beyond the atmospheric air mth which it was easily confused, 
and even the '^ Infinite" of Anaximander, though freed from 
qnalitatire or quantitative conditions, was but a refinement on 
the vxn, an ideal chaos relieved of its coarseness by negations ; 
it was Ihe illimitable storehouse or pleroma out of which is 
evolved the endless circle of phenomenal change, differing from 
the ** fAiyfAa" or " h/My ira^ra* of Anaitagoras only in the 
initial exclusion of parts or qualities", and in containing the 
power of Evolution " within itself". Yet it would be wrong to 
say th&t the Ionian physiology was no more than materialism, 
since it sought the real under the disguise of the seeming, 
it recognised a moving force in the material", and all that can 
be afiBrmed is, that th6 former was not at first so clearly dis- 
tinguished from the other as it was afterwards. Nor did its 
efforts evaporate in ikiere speculation, for it obtained sound 
results in inquiries where the data \7ere commensurate with the 
inferences, as in miithematios and the sciences bearing the 
relative title of ^' deductive," those, namely, in which the mind 
is warranted in proceeding independently or deductively at a 
comparatively early period. The ideas which are the bases of 
these sciences, such as space and time, figure and number, so 
readily attained that they seem intuitive, a portion of the mind 
rather than euggestioiis of nature, were employed familiarly 
long before their real character was understood, and through 
want of psychological experience, the common forms or pro- 
perties, which exist only as attributes", were treated as sub- 
stances, or at least as making a substantial connection between 

^ It wai not "all things,** m Amtotle would hare aaid " fHfri'f," but only 
"Immiuir Hetapb. 11, (12,) 2, 8. 

" Itit tlie " mixture,' ont of whoM telf-^ffbcted doTolopinent the world arises. 
Axistotnbis. Bnmdis, Hist PhiL i 128. 132. 

■* Aristot de AnioL i. 2 and 5. " Ammtn )i« r«» trtx*"^*^ hfV* ^ivmfup hmt 
WMHuu* MTM. 6tob». EcL Pbys. L 64. 

** •* Ainn, les choMs ont fait place anx oonoeptions maihimatiqiiei, et les termes 
■'^Tuioaissent dans lean rapports.** Coosin. 

z 2 


the objects to which they belong. All the conditions of ma- 
terial existence were supposed to have been evolved out of the 
Pythagorean monad*'. It is only by degrees that the mind, 
by reflecting on its capacity of acting on the external world, 
becomes able to separate that world from itself, and to make a 
distinct classification of its powers and ideas. At first, percep- 
tion is confounded with conception, and every subject of 
thought is presumed to have a corresponding object in nature. 
As conceptions multiply a divergence is noticed between sen- 
sations and inferences, and the separation thus made becomes 
the germ of a better idealism. But the first idealism is mys- 
tical and realistic ; and the attempts of the Eleatic philosophers 
to separate the inferences of the reason firom the deceptive 
impressions of the ear and eye, partially contributed to con- 
found them. The protest of Xenophanes against the fallacies 
of the senses ended in an absolute denial of their evidences, of 
generation, multiplicity, and change. In order to escape from 
the paradox of the world of experience, philosophy devised the 
greater paradoxes of metaphysics. In the pride of new dis- 
covery, conceptions were treated not only as entities, but as the 
only entities, and as alone possessing the stability and reality 
vainly sought among phenomena. The only reality was 
thought**. "All real existence," said the Eleatic philosophers, 
''is mental existence; non-existence being inconceivable, is 
therefore impossible; existence fills up the whole range of 
thought, and is inseparable from its exercise ; thought and its 
object are one."" The first decomposition of the universe had 
been seized upon by the fancy, which, dwelling on the many 
aspects of nature rather than its unity, converted it into the 
gods and goddesses of poetry. The Ionian reaction reunited 
the scattered elements pantheistically, but in the resulting 

*' " Tn a^tifUTf it t^Xiff rtg twi" Aristot. Hetaph. i. 5. 5, and xiii. S. " cmc 
T»»Tif, — t. €. rt/f fuiinfifTtn — <Bf;t*f '*""* ^v^**' '^VC^ ««#«««»." Ibid. 

'^ The diffsrence between the lonians and Bleate vms thia: the former en- 
deavoured to trace an idea among phenomena by aid of obaerration; the latter 
eraded the difficulty by dogmatically asserting the objectire ezistSDce of an idea. 

*' Karsten's Parmenides, y. 98. 


aggregate made the constant subordinate to the changeAiI, the 
inferences of reason to those of the senses^ impliedly though 
not intentionally merging the moying force which was virtually 
god^' in matter. But the motion and change perceived by the 
senses suggest to the reason a continuing substratum in which 
the changes arise^ or on which they operate. The contradic- 
tory positions of the physists could not all be true ; and the 
idealist^ in consciousness of the superiority of inward thought 
to outward impression, pronounced them all alike false. In 
riyalry with the sensuous dogmas of multiplicity, generation, 
and change, he overleaped intermediate abstractions to assert 
the unmoved, eternal, and one^^ He thus produced ^ per- 
manent and beneficial effect on philosophy by dividing the 
results of thought into the two classes of the sensational and 
mental ^^ But the separation was neither correctly made nor 
consistently maintained. The physist bad made a sudden 
spring into the antipodes of abstraction, and had yet to learn 
the relative character of the new region. In some respects the 
separation was carried too far, in others it was imperfect. 
Hence the theology of Xenophanes, and the metaphysics of 
Parmenides appeared to Aristotle and others as a mere fonn of 
physiology '\ The metaphysics of the theological physist were 
not those of the logician, the method of the one being too 
vague to satisfy the other'^. Xenophanes is said to have used 
ambiguous language, applicable to the material as well as 
to the mental, and exclusively appropriate to neither**. In 

'* A^n Mnnnt^f or '^ causa efficiens." 

^ n rw »9T0s i^M. Plato, Sophiita, 254*. Ariitot de Gen. et Oorr. i. 8. 

* The ^c#«'0v and the vmitm. 

'* Comp. Ariflt. de Casio, iii. 1. 6. EantcB's Xenophanes, p. 133 ***. Eanten's 
Pannenides, p. 196**^. "C*etait aeulement reioadre U nature dans une existence 
nniTerselle qui n*en diff^re que par Tabstraction, et n'est que la nature mdme con- 
nd^i€e comme une. Aussi le dieu de Xenophane et de Parmenide n'est il encore 
que le monde." Ravaisson, Metaph. d'Aristote, torn. ii. p. 8. 

** " A/ ArciBfifria? r»v avmXvrttutt r«vr» ^fat0t" Arist Metaph. iii. 8. 5., 

^ " Tilt ^v€ttn •t^ttt^mt (t. e. «-«» »«r« Xtyn \ws »mt ro0 »«r« rvf iXti*), imjsi 
iiyuf" Aristot Metaph. i. 5. 12 ; comp. iii. 5. 16. A similar want of logical 


Other words, he availed himself of material imagery to illustrate 
an indefinite meaning; he had not the precision of logic, and 
though blaming the poets for attributing human forma to the 
uniyorsal being, he yet, in announcing the one, appealed to the 
heavens as its visible manifestation, giving to it the epithet of 
sphericity borrowed from the nofffiof^. It was in this way that 
in the hands of Anaxagoras and Euripides, Zeus seemed to 
end his career as he commenced it among his old worshipperB, 
the Pelasgi, as a personified Uranus or ^ther. Pannenidea 
employed similar expedients, comparing his metaphysical deity 
to a sphere, or to heat, an aggregate or a continuity**, and so 
involuntarily withdrawing its nominal attributes. Notwith* 
standing formal protestations, these Mends or warshippers of 
notions^* might therefore seem, in many respects, deserving to 
be classed with their Ionian predecessors ; the very association 
they endeavoured to avoid when, reserving implicit belief for 
the conclusions of reason, they published collateral uncon- 
nected theories which they confessed to be addressed only to 
opinion, containing a more hesitating statement of half legen- 
dary dogmas and empirical physics. For the transcendental 
ontology which they professed to keep distinct from mere 
opinion was rendered obscure by the means used to explain 
it''^, and seemed as mockery to an acute logician^, reconvoi- 
ing philosophy into poetry or leUgious symbolism. 

thongbt and consiatent expression seems to haye been the "my^wum" attributed to 
Helissns. Biandis, H. P. L 405. 

** Plat Tinue. 83^. Earsten's Xenoph. 120. Biandis, L 862. 860. 

•* iX&f, or nr»i;(^ir. 

*• " r*» ii)«r» ^iX«." Plat 

" ''•v)if ^tm€m^9$ft9,** says Aristotle of Xenopbanes (Metapb. i. S), "^M^i^irm 
rosf fufiug" says Plato (Sopbist p. 242); Xenopbanes said God was neither mored 
nor unmoTed, limited nor unlimited ; he did not even attempt to express deari j 
what cannot be conceired clearly; he admitted, says Simplidus, that such specula- 
tions were above physics. Earsten's Xenoph. p. 106. 

** Aristot Hetaph. ii. 4. 12, for "m iv ^t^cn ^mvk0t r«^* *xX^ /uv^uutrt^ 
xtyt/f.** Bnrip. HippoL 098. 




Men dealt with the mind as savages with a mirror or pic- 
ture ; the first vague curiosity was afterwards concentrated on 
the structure of the medium through which impressions had 
been received. Difficulty begot invention; and a doubt of the 
possibility of knowledge^ was the origin of psychology. The 
separation between the results gradually led to a distinction 
between the powers of thought ; but the latter distinction when 
made was not so much a contemplated result of inquiry as 
a conclusion forced on it in the course of dialectical and physi- 
oal speculation ; for it was rather incidentally than directly 
that Anazagoras was led to conclusions respecting mind so 
prolific and original that all other philosophers seemed to have 
been by comparison asleep^. The extreme doctrines of the 
Eleadcs naturally produced reaction. The All might be ad* 
mitted to be one and unchangeable, yet composed of an infinity 
of primary parts whose combinati(ms and mutations constitute 
what appear to be generation and destruction. An effort was 
accordingly made to mediate between materialism and idealism, 
to fill up the chasm by explaining unity without wronging the 
senses, and multiplicity without offence to the reason. This 
was the scope of the Atomic school, which, taken in its widest 
extent, may be called an attempt to ascertain the point where 
appearance ends, and where unity and immutability begin, 
thence endeavouring to explain the universe on mechanical or 
empirical principles'. The first lonians had blended the 
moving force, which to them was Nature's reality ^ with matter, 
as in a living fire or ** hylsozoic" water. The Eleatics evaded 
the explanation of a '* causa efficiens" by denying all value to 

■ "mmarrnXn^m, Oomp. Stobe. EcL Bth. 2. 1, p. 157. 

^ Prodni in Tinue. p. 1. 

' Comp. Not. Oig. 1. Apb. 64. 


the evidence of the senses in the investigation of the real, and 
so treating not generation and decay alone, but motion of every 
kind as fantasy or delusive appearance*. The lonians, believ- 
ing in the reality of motion, endeavoured to discover its cause 
below the sur&ce of the most obvious appearances. A farther 
advance in the same direction among the later lonians pro- 
duced a more accurate subdivision of the problematical ^' all" 
into matter and force '; both the matter and the force being 
however differentiy conceived and described by different thinkers. 
By all of them matter was deemed unchangeable in its ultimate 
constitution, though infinitely variable in its resultant forms. 
The Atomic school of Leucippus propounded the derivation of 
all qualitative variety from the quantitative composition of 
homogeneous atoms^ ; while Anaxagoras and Empedocles main- 
tained the existence of ultimate elementary particles of distinct 
kinds; these in the system of the latter were only four; in 
that of the former, they varied in form and quality' as in- 
finitely as the diversified appearances exhibited in their com- 
binations. Anaxagoras was therefore so far a kind of Atomist; 
his "homceomery" means similar or quaUtative atomology. 
But the sequel of tixe Atomic school in one respect closely 
adhered to the older Ionian physics; they required no mover 
or director of tiie atoms external to themselves ; no universal 
reason ^ but a mechanical eternal necessity like that of die 
poets ^^ Anaxagoras conformed so far to the tenets of Ionia 
as not to dispute the evidences of the senses to some extent 
as even objectively correct; but he had learned from the Italic 
school to hold their evidence subordinate to that of reason. 
Probably there never was a time when reason could be said to 
be entirely asleep, a stranger to its own existence. The earliest 

• Ariit Metaph. i. 8. 12 ; i. 5. 11. 

• Aristot. ib. ' "•«-#«." 

' The inconsistency of this theory is pointed out by Aristotle, Metaph. i. 8. 18. 

• X^ytf or " ytmfiii,** of Heraclitns. 

*• "mimyn:* StobsB. Ed. Phys. Heeren. i. 56. 60. 160. 442. Arist. Metaph. 
i. 4. 12. 


contemplation of the external world -which hrings it into an 
imagined association with ourselves, assigns to it either in its 
totality or its parts the sensation and volition which belongs to 
our own souls. It was this spreading of mind over the objects 
it contemplates which from the first gave dignity to the Fetish^ 
and which even mcd^es it doubtful whether this grovelling wor- 
ship can ever, strictiy speaking, be said to have existed. It 
was this which in a later intellectual state became transformed 
by poetry into a being or beings acting with human caprice 
and passion upon a world apart from them, and either repre- 
sented as a progressive evolution of the more perfect (Zeus) 
from the less (Cronus, Chaos, &c.), or by an inversion of the 
real order of mental development carrying back the more 
finished creations of imaginative intellect to the world's origin **. 
Philosophy restored to nature what had been separated from it 
by poetry, and the God-teeming world of Thales" was only a 
more simple expression or analysis of the foundations of poly- 
theism. But in this, as in the earliest deification of nature, 
the intelligent principle was mixed up with the material, and 
an effective separation took place only when man distinctiy 
recognised witiiin himself a dualism corresponding to that 
which seemed to be exhibited around him". Proportioned to 
the advance of self-consciousness is the necessity of making 
the power, which is more and more impressively and clearly 
felt to be its source, take part in the regulation of the universe; 
and, as man is always inclined to believe his earth, or even his 
country or city, to be the universal centre, the progress of cen- 
tralization keeps pace with the widening ^here of self-know- 
ledge, until the pivot of the world is deliberately placed within 
his own mind. The efforts of philosophy which had already 
tended to separate the mental from the material had but par- 
.tially succeeded, since the separation had again become in- 

■1 AriBtot Hetapb. xiii. 4. 4. 
" " «■««•« irXti^ Smv." 

" Aristotle allades to tbis change, yet doea not account for it. Metapb. i. 3, 
•. 14, 15. 


viaible through snperfioial explanationB, so that an intelleotaal 
idea of the divine was soarcely fonned when it was again with* 
drawn into the bosom of Nature, and the results of psycho* 
logical reflection became but parts of a material physiology. 
The aeriform soul of Anaximenes or Diogenes^^ was only a 
drier statement of the Homeric phantom or exhalation which, 
escaping through the mouth or fixnn a wound, feebly mimics 
the form and actions of the body. Heraclitus stroTe to express 
with more becoming dignity the principle of all moyement and 
of intelligence^^, but allowed both the human mind and the 
divine, of which it was part, to fall back into the sphere of the 
material when he compared it to fiie, however the mateiialisBi 
might be disguised by negatives or limitations, such as the in- 
visible nature of the fire ajBSnned to be like gold, the universal 
medium of circulation or exchange (" afMtpn") giving birth to 
the visible by its own extinction. Anaxagoras seems to bave 
more distinctly recognised the internal duaUam, and to have 
therefore more clearly seen the impossibility of passing by 
illustration or definition beyond a reasonable faith or simple 
negation of immateriality, when he asserted the moving force 
to be mind ; yet he did not altogether desist from the endea- 
vour to illustrate its nature by symbols drawn from those phy- 
sical considerations which decided him in placing it in a sepa- 
rate category. He considered that whether as humcm reason, 
or as the regulating principle in nature, it was different from all 
other things in character and effect, and must therefore also 
differ in its essential or " Iiomoeomeric " constitution. It was 
neither matter, nor a force conjoined with matter or homo- 
geneous with it, but independent and generically distinct ; dis- 
tinct in this remarkable particular, that whereas all other things 
in nature are infinitely complex by the intermingling of their 
elements, their specific qualities and character being deter- 
mined only by the predominance of a certain kind of homceo- 

14 Stoba. BeL Phye. i. 796. 

i« "yw^n" Bnndis, Handbucb, i. 174. 


merio atoms in each ^*, nund, the sooroe of all motion^ separa- 
tiooQ, and cognition, is something entirely unique, pure, and 
unmixed, and being so unhindered by any interfering influence 
limiting its independence of individual action, obtains supreme 
empire over all things, over the vortex of worlds as well as over 
all that live in them. Yet mind, though in nature unique and 
unoompounded ", is in its energy most penetrating and power- 
flil ", mixing with other things though no other thing mixes 
with it, exercising universal control and cognition ^', and in* 
eluding the coamical necessity or world mechanism of poetry '^ 
as well as the independent power of thought which we expe* 
lience within ourselves. It is, in short, both these oonoeptions 
united; the self-conscious power of thought extended to the 
universe, and exalted into the supreme external mind which 
sees, knows, and directs all things '\ By this hypothesis pan- 
theism as well as materialism was avoided, and matter, though 
as infinitely varied as the senses represent it, was held in a 
bond of unity transferred to a ruling power apart from it. The 
latter could not be prime mover if itself moved, nor all-govern- 
ing if not apart from the things it governs. Were the arranging 
principle inherent in matter it would have been impossible to 
account for the existence of a chaos ; but if it were something 
external, the old Ionian doctrine of a "beginning"*^ became 
more easily conceivable as being the epoch at which the arrang- 
ing intelligence commenced its operations. These operations 

. ^ " £» wmtrt wu9T§t f»M^ tn^rt wXnf U4v **—** i»«rT*» xmrm t§ in»(«r#in' %»^' 
MTn^il^ofUfv.*' Anaxag. Frag. Scfaanb, yii. 8, pp. 114, 115. 

^ ytmfuiflt 9%^t wwKTt 90t9$a t»x^u* 
^ Gomp. Plato^ Timsoi, p. 56. 

rj Mf.— Ariitot de Anim. i. 2. "Mfr* tytm m»#."— Simpl. in Arist. Phyt. 38^ 
Tenneman, Hiat i. 818. 816. " wn tuffuvMn r*v eio.'*— Stobse. Ed. Phyi. L 
66. Sext Empir. Hath, be 6. Cic. Acad. Q. W. 87. "fwv hr*tuw9tnifmi 
nmimmt^ i» X/^^tt »«< rif fv^Uf m mtrt^f »m v» »40fM» tun mt T*(Myf «r«ni#, #&• 
mfarv ifsM wm{ u»f Xty^frut r««f v^^n^v." — Simpl. in Phyi. Aiist 821. 
« " yt«ri#."— Amt. de Ccdo, iiL 1. 7. 


though variously manifested, as in the growth of plants, the 
discretion of animals, and the movements of the world, are ulti- 
mately the same all-pervading power which includes p^oma-tf as 
well as xivTiffig, and whose universality reduces the idea of Fate 
or Chance to a mere empty name**. But the grand idea of an 
all-governing independent mind which raised the natural philo- 
sophy of Anaxagoras above the level of materialism, and rather 
classed it with the Stoical and Platonic developments than with 
the Epicurean followers of Democritus and Leucippus, involved 
di£Giculties which proved insuperable. Theism introduced a 
dualism of mind and matter '^ which, Diogenes of ApoUonia 
rejecting, was imavoidably carried back into pantheism. Theism 
again was nearly akin to the idea of a moral governor, a divine 
personality, a philosophical Zeus ^^ ; but Anaxagoras discreetly 
passed over in silence the inexplicable mysteries of causal intel- 
ligence, dwelling as an investigator of physics rather on the 
visible mechanism of nature than on theological or moral infer- 
ences from the details of its constitution. He had indeed theo- 
retically included in ''intelligence" not only life and motion, 
but the moral principle of the noble and the good'**; and it was 
perhaps only from the popular misapplication of the term " Grod," 
to which every step in religious advancement gives an apparently 
new meaning'^, that he employed exclusively that of " voug," as 
being less liable to misconstruction, and more specifically mark- 
ing his idea '". But he was perhaps hardly aware of the psycho- 

^ Comp. Kanten's Zenopbanes, p. 188, with Schaubach's Aoaz. 86. 152. 191. 
^ Arist. Metaph. xiii. 4. 6. 

^ Hence the first principle of philosophen was often called Zeus, for instance, the 
fire principle, '* wv^ «ii^Af«v " of Heraclitus, and the infinite atber of Anaxagoras, 
Zeus having already absorbed the poetical " Awaynti** (Enrip. Alcest. 978), and 
" Mm^ " (Hes. Theog. 904). 
«• Arist. de Anim. i. 2. HeUph. L 8. 11 ; ii. 3. 11. 10. 8. Plato, CratyL 418^ 
^ Plato, Buthyphro, p. 8. Hence Socrates was called a " maker of gods.'* 
^ Xenopbanes used the word But for the Universal, and employed it also more 
yaguely in the plural conformably with common usage (Earsten, p. 114) ; hence he 
speaks of God ruling among the gods, and of "the parts of GK>d;" aa Empedocles 
gave the same title to the four elements. (Arist. de Qen. et Oormp. ii. 6. 12. De 


logical and religious bearing of his system ; or he may have 
designedly avoided a subject foreign to his immediate design, 
and which did not at the time admit of satisfactory treat- 
ment He assumed, once for all, that chaos was airanged by 
mind; and, having done so, he endeavoured to trace pheno- 
mena, as far as it was then possible, through secondary causes. 
The requirements of Socrates in the Phsedo ^' were not to be 
expected from a physiologist ; Socrates looked for moral infer- 
ences, Anaxagoras for physical contrivances. The latter could 
not have derived from his hypothesis the inferences which could 
have satisfied Socrates, since he was &r from having attained 
that commanding knowledge of the arrangements of the uni- 
verse which would have enabled either philosopher to read the 
same moral lessons in its general plan which they might and 
did obtain from a few familiar instances. Hence the " intelli- 
gence" principle remained practically liable to many of the 
same defects as the '' necessity " of the poets. It was the pre- 
sentiment of a great idea which it was for the time impossible 
to explain or follow out. The intelligent principle was not yet 
intelligible, nor was even the road opened through which it 
might be approached '^. Even where we are able to observe 
causes '^ it does not follow that we see intentions. In inferring 
providential design from the action of physical laws, we are 
liable to be deceived through the difficulty or rather impossi- 
bility of seeing particular results in combination with the ge- 

Anim. i. 2. 10. Schaabach's Anazag. 154.) Parmenides and Anazagoras drop tbe 
name "God** (Kanten, P. 215); Plato uses it in the general sense of the divine 
or by way of illnxtration ; bis word for " Qod" is properly '' r^ni^,** or **hifuMf(yH 

^ PUto, Phsedo, ch. 46. Leges, xii. 696. Aristotle, Metapb. i. 4, 5, and xiii. 4. 
Plntarch, Defeet Orac. cb. 47. Clem. Alex. Strom, ii. 864. 

** Bacon (as above qnoted, p. 888), says that tbe natnral philosophy of Democritos 
and some others, who did not suppose a mind or reason in the frame of things, seema, 
aa iar as we have the means of judging, to have been better inquired than that of 
Aristotle and Plato, and this because tbe latter intermingled final causes or teleo- 
logy with physics; the intermixture necessarily intercepting and interrupting the 
ievere and diligent inquiry of real and physical causes. 

**!.<. "material" or '* efficient'* causes, or physical antecedents and conditions. 


neral plan to which they are subservient Moral bearingB can 
be adequately appreciated only when physical causes are tho- 
roughly understood. The Bocratic objection would have nkade 
teleology precede physiology, and> at a time when the latter was 
in its infancy, would have inferred all the phenomena of the 
universe deductively from the moral attributes of its author. 
Happily it is not necessary to have reached so sublime a height 
in order to believe in divine benevolence, and to justify the 
moral alliance of " Ananke " with Zeus *^. It may be diiBSoult 
to conceive a perfect will without confounding it with something 
like mechanism, since language has no name for that combina- 
tion of the inexorable with the moral which the old poets had 
separately personified in Ananke or Eimaimene and Zeus. 
All that we familiarly know of free-will being that capricious 
exercise of it which we experience in ourselves and other men, 
the notion of will guided by infallible law seems in danger 
either of being stripped of the essential quality of freedom, or 
else of being degraded under the ill name of necessity to some* 
thing of less moral and intellectual dignity than the fluctuating 
course even of human operations ". Education, however, ele- 
vates the idea of law above that of partiality or tyranny, nay, 
discovers that the self-imposed limitations '^ of the supreme cause 
constituting an array of certain alternatives regulating moral 
choice are the very sources and safeguards of human freedom. 
Yet the mind which has thus outgrown the idea of a partial 
god is expected to retract and to submit to vulgar opinion 
under pain of that reproach of atheism which, though never in- 
curred by barbarians **, is a charge commonly urged against 
philosophy by those intellectual barbarians who cling like chil- 
dren to the god whom they suppose to feed them, speak to 
them, and flatter them. Anaxagoras was proscribed because 
he seemed to have desecrated both the Q-od of nature and the 

** Burip. Alcest 978. 

" Plato, Laws, lii. 967. 

** By Anaxagoras considered as the eternal conditions of matter. 

« -»lian, V. H. ii. 81. 


God of poetry ; he reduced both to what appeared an irrational 
mechanism ^^ without being able to transfer to the new concep- 
tion the convictions and feelings habitually connected with the 



The seeming strife between religion and philosophy is rather 
of form and application than of substance. Each displays an 
image of truth appreciable by different minds. Each strives to 
grasp the supra-sensual; but one claims a divine sanction for 
forms expressing, though but obscurely, the simplest conclu- 
sions of reason, the other makes a selection among inferences, 
and appeals not to authority but evidence. One treats human 
nature as stationary, the other as progressive ; philosophy in 
the progressive education of mind and thought contemplates 
an endless career; while religion, which in many respects is but 
a rudimentary and fettered philosophy, becomes arrested ru its 
march and enslaved to the first forms or symbols it happens to 
assume. Religion, therefore, is better suited to the masses, 
while philosophy is confined to the few. For, to the many who 
shrink from intellectual still more than firom physical toil, it is 
tai easier to believe that God has himself furnished a solution 
of every difficult problem, than to suppose that here as else- 
where nothing really valuable can be gained without labour. 
The very diffidence of philosophy rendering it improveable and 
progressive, and so eventually raising it above that which, 
however unfairly, commonly engrosses the name of religion, 
makes it seem unsatisfactory to the unintellectual, who on the 
principle of division of employments not unreasonably expect 
to be regularly supplied vrith positive and reliable results, to 
be spared the difficulty of a choice which they have neither 
leisure nor power to make, and to be exempted firom the 

^ **mnuw UHu rw Am^tnfun" Anazag. Fng. Schsnb. p. 162. 


necessity of themselves conducting the govenunent they pay 
for. They rail against philosophers as slaves against revo- 
lutionists, and, suspecting the extra ohligations of fireedom, 
stoutly defend against speculative encroachments those accre- 
dited forms which in their idea are order and religion itself, 
the civil heing the readiest resource against anarchy, the re- 
ligious explaining all they wish to know intelligihly and con- 
fidently. It was only by slow degrees, and even then but 
indirectly, that Greek philosophy became opposed to Greek 
religion. Its first commencements involved little more than a 
reversion firom the Zeus of Homer to something like the mys- 
ticism of the Pelasgians. Even when ideas had changed, 
names were as far as possible preserved, professors endeavour- 
ing to accommodate themselves to common language by means 
of exegesis, and like Pythagoras or Socrates maintaining a 
decent conformity with existing institutions\ The drift of 
philosophy could not, however, fail to be ultimately subversive 
of an artificial system, especially one so grossly polytheistic. 
The diminished belief in mythi was indicated by the decreasing 
fertility in inventing them, and as the devices of symbolism 
were gradually stripped away in order, if possible, to reach the 
fundamental conception, the religious feeling habitually con- 
nected with it seemed to evaporate under the process. Yet 
the advocates of monotheism, Xenophanes and Heraclitus, 
declaimed only against anthropistic forms ; they did not attempt 
to strip nature of its divinity, but rather to recall religious con- 
templation firom an exploded symbolism to a purer one. The 
philosophers deified nature though not the tinsel of her poetic 
clothing; they continued the veneration which in the back- 
ground of poetry has been maintained for sun and stars, the 
fire or aether '. Socrates prostrated himself before the rising 

* But the Socratic philosophers appear to have really attributed a certain inspira- 
tion of truth to mythi, and to have considered religion as generally impossible unless 
established on a popular foundation. 

^ Diog. Laert. viii. 1. 17 and 19. Forphyr. De Abst. 168 and 242. Eurip. 
Frag. Inc, 1. 


laminary', and the eternal spheres which seemed to have shared 
the religious homage of Xenophanes, retained a secondary and 
qualified diyinity in the schools of the Peripatetics and Stoics \ 
The physical deities were, however, separated from the unseen 
being or beings revealed only to intellect*; the former con- 
tinued to be received with equal respect, though in a different 
meaning, by learned and unlearned; while the latter became 
the theme of philosophy, and their more ancient symbols, if 
not openly discredited, were passed over with evasive generaUty 
as beings respecting whose problematical existence we must be 
" content with what has been reported by those ancients who, 
assuming to be their descendants, must therefore be supposed 
to have been well acquainted with their own ancestors and 
family connections/'* The Anaxagorean theism was more de- 
cidedly subversive not only of mythology but of the whole 
religion of outward nature ; it was an appeal from the world 
without to the consciousness of spiritual dignity within man ; 
a desecration of nature, yet a dangerous rival to art, and the 
first signal of an avowed separation between reason and 
imagination. The God of Philosophy, a son of Metis or 
Wisdom, instead of a new nature-god, or son of Thetis^, should 
now have realised the menace put into the mouth of Pro- 
metheus by iEschylus', and have driven Zeus and his com- 
peers into the caverns of the west to share the exile of Cronus. 
But philosophy is far more rapidly and widely diffused in its 
negative than its reconstructive effects ; and, as savages greedily 
receive the corruptions of civilization without benefiting by its 

' Plato, Sympoi. 220. De Leg. z. 887 (182). Stalbaom to Timae. 40 (p. 169), 
and Proleg. p. 15. 

* Arist. Metapli. xi. 8. Comp. v. 1. 10. Bth. Nic. ti. 6. De Coelo, ii. 1. 8. 

* Plato, de Leg. zL 264. Comp. Apuleius de Deo Socr. ch. i. p. 116; and De 
Hundo, 343 (p. 401, Hild.). Macrob. Sat. i. 28. Cseaar, B. G. yi. 21. Henag. to 
Diog. Laert. yiii. 27. 

* Plato, Timtens, p. 40. Zeller. Phil. d. Gr. ii. 806. 
' Compare Heyne to Apollod. i. 8. 6. 

* Following, probably, some dogma of traditional or Orphic theology. Ch. Re- 
nouTier, Manuel de PhiloBophie Ancienne, yoL i. p. 76. 

VOL. I. A A 


aids and lestraints, so the mass of mankind, too indolent to 
accompany the march of thought, must either cling fenatically 
to habitual ideas, or sink into scepticism and indifference. 
For a time, perhaps, the bond of a common incredulity may 
supply the place of community of creed, and the task of 
examining and destroying a discredited system may satisfy the 
activities of the age without many disturbing thoughts respect- 
ing the difficulty of replacing it. Philosophy contemplated 
the wreck of ancient superstitions either in the spirit of poetical 
playfulness or of antiquarian examination ; endeavouring occa- 
sionally to revive in some sort the credit of the idol by explain- 
ing and accounting for its meaning. Anaxagoras and Metro- 
dorus resumed the speculations of Theagenes of Bhegium, 
asserting the gods and heroes to be personifications of the 
elements'; a method generally adopted by the Stoics and new 
Platonists, who, while in many respects they put a just con- 
struction on ancient mythology, were unable to escape that 
common error of reporters and translators which intermingles 
their own dogmas with what they would record or explain". 
Such a proceeding, however, presupposed a subversion of faith ; 
the charitable assistance held out to religion implied its sub- 
version. Speculators more careless and irreverend, like Oritias 
the tyrant", asserted the Gods to have been a mere invention 
of priests and an expedient of police; while historians, ftx>m 
Hecataeus to Diodorus, or such of them as were enabled by 
disbelief in mythology to indulge in an unimpassioned ex- 
amination of it, attempted the " pragmatical," or matter of fact 
interpretation which treated the Gods as deified mortals, 
forgetting that if the titles of divinity were to be regarded as a 
mere exaggeration of grateful feeling to mortal benefactors, the 
origin of those titles and of the religious sentiment itself from 

• Diog. L. ii. 7. 11. 

'* Cic. N. D. i. 18. 15. Menag. ad Diog. L. vii. yol. ii. p. 213, Hnebner. Maxi- 
muB Tyriiu (Dissert. 10) attempts to prove that poetry and philosophy speak the 
same truth. Comp. Lobeck, Aglaoph. p. 1 56. 

" Sext. Empir. Math. 318. 


whence they are derived remains as problematical as before". 
For when men first began professedly to record facts, they 
imputed the same intention to ages unconscious of it, and the 
anthropism of the poets was but the unwitting commencement 
of a system more deliberately followed out by historians of 
treating ideas as facts or persons. Of the latter class the 
greatest enemy of religion was the Epicurean Euhemerus, who 
affected to have discovered the genealogical history of the gods 
in the authentic archives of some remote island, just as a 
modem novelist finds his materials in an old trunk or among 
the papers of a deceased friend. The presumed deification of 
ancient kings was a symptom which, like the actual deification 
of cotemporaries, indicated either a diminution of religious 
feeling, or a change in its direction, which left the popular 
symbols as empty and lifeless forms to be overthrown by the 
first shock, and supplanted by the first plausible competitor. 

§ 30. 


But amidst the silence or corruption of oracles, the disuse 
and ruin of temples, when the polytheistic system was treated 
as a mere engine of state policy \ or of private jobbing*, why, 
it may be asked, was philosophy unable to fill the vacancy it 
had created, or to construct a system unassailable by itself? 
It was not merely because its indecision and the remoteness of 
its speculations from common thought were inconsistent with 
extensive popularity, but because it had betrayed its own cause 
by perversities akin to those of religions. It began to build 
without an adequate foundation, to philosophise beyond the 
range of experience, to erect a science where there were data 
only for faith. It overlooked without sufficiently examining 

1^ Sext Smpir. Msith. iz. 34. 

» Strabo, 1, 2, p. 36. Polyb. vi. 66. 

a AcU xix. 24. 

A A 2 


the problem before which religion had prostrated itself, and 
became discredited by failui'e in an impossible attempt. The 
source of philosophy was doubt, presumption that of its de- 
cline. Doubt took refuge in dogmatism ; dogmatism reverted 
to universal doubt, giving rise to astonishing efforts of specula- 
tive profundity, but eventually provoking a reaction in which 
philosophy in despair reverted to its superannuated parent, and 
appealing to Eastern mysticism sank back into the arms of 
faith. Scepticism had arisen out of the impossibility of dis- 
covering a criterium to arbitrate in the conflict of opinions. 
Extreme differences in relation to the same things led at last to 
the conviction that the source of error was not in nature, but 
in the inadequate preparation, if not incapacity, of the observer. 
Bepelled by the fruitless issue of physical inquiry, Socrates 
turned his attention exclusively to ethics ; he endeavoured to 
discover the forms of moral truth, not in the solitary resources 
of a single mind, but in the intercourse of many, and so to 
extract constancy and certainty out of contradiction and va- 
riety. Though admitting the imperfection of all human' know- 
ledge*, he neither despaired nor dogmatised; he could not, 
indeed, have contemplated its essential subjectivity without 
falling into the scepticism of the sophists; he believed it to 
be attainable, and, so far as attainable to be divine \ so that 
his philosophy, based upon internal convictions, if not itself 
dogmatical, had a tendency to dogmatism, to create an indis- 
criminate idolatry of the mind rather than to give proper 
direction to its powers. The assumption of an internal cri- 
terium was carried to greater lengths by his followers. Mind 
cannot advance in metaphysics beyond self- deification ; in 
attempting to transcend this it can only enact the further 
apotheosis of its own subtle conceptions, and so sink below the 
simpler ground abready taken. The general notions which 

» Oomp. Aristot Eth. Nic. vi. 6. 

* Plato, Apol. 21. 28. Phaed. 96. Meno, 98. De Rep. vii. 529. Comp. Brandis, 
H. P. ii. p. 56. Xen. Mem. iii. 9. 6. 

* Meno, p. 81. De Legg. x. 899. Xen. Mem. iv. 8. U. 


Socrates had been contented to accept as divinely revealed*, 
Plato conceived to be real existences of a supra-mundane sphere^ 
^ the prototypes of creation, accounting for our knowledge of 
them by supposing it awakened by sensation out of the soul's 
mysterious reminiscences. The object of Plato was to bring 
into harmony the worlds of "being" and of "becoming," 
which, on the respective grounds of the Eleatee and Heraclitus, 
seemed hopelessly estranged. His system was an attempt 
partly analogous to that of the Atomists ; it would reconcile to 
the intellect those difficulties which the Atomist would account 
for to the senses ; it tried to surmount the Eleatic paradox of 
the " TO ov" by decomposing it, so as by a sort of metaphysical 
mythology^ to bring it into more agreement with the diver- 
sities of appearance. But the arbitrary union ended in a more 
decided rupture. The realities which Plato could not recog- 
nise in phenomena he discovered within his own mind, and as 
unhesitatingly as the ancient theosophists installed its crea- 
tions" among the gods. His "lofty understanding, like a 
watchman on an eminence, did descry that forms ^ are the 
true objects of science, yet lost the firuit of his opinion by con- 
sidering them as abstracted from matter, not confined and 
determined by it; and so turning his opinion on theology, 
wherewith all his natural philosophy is infected.'"" Plato, as 
most philosophers after Anaxagoras, made the Supreme Being 

* "Ov x,*»VV'rm,r Arist. Metaph. (12), 13. 4, 6. 

^ "«'«^««'X»ri«v «-M«i/ynf r«jf 0t«iy /£•» utm ^«^««iw/ir, rnvfi^tHTBit^ut )i." Metaph. 
ii. 2. 22. 

* The avro^tttff &c 

* " Etin.'* But the lion of Plato are neither the Baconian forms nor the nin of 
Aristotle. The Platonic "forms" are separately existing generalisations apart 
from, yet mysteriously connected with the visible; the ti^ of Aristotle is the 
"quiddity" or essence determined by the last ''difference/' the idea of a thing, 
which, to far cu we know, is the thing itself; the forms of Bacon are neither logical 
abstractions nor common experiences, but scientific experience reduced to causes and 
laws, those uniformities of action and conformation ("process and schematism") 
which really exist in nature. 

'* Bacon, de Augment. 8, ch. 4. 


to be Intelligence", but, in other respects, left his nature un- 
defined, or rather indefinite through the variety of definitions, 
a conception floating vaguely between theism and pantheism. 
Though deprecating the demoralising tendencies of poetry, he 
was too wise to attempt to replace them by other representa- 
tions of a positive kind. His language changes with the point 
of view fi-om which the Deity is contemplated ; in the ideal 
world God is the one existence, the universal generalisation, 
the head of a metaphysical hierarchy, tlie "e<Jb^ ti^uv;" in the 
visible world, the remote metaphysical cause comprising, or 
as it were, producing" the £iifi, becomes creative intelligence 
forming the visible after their model**; morally, the supreme 
idea is the supreme good. Plato says justly, that spiritual 
things can be made intelligible only through figures**; and the 
forms of allegorical expression which in a rude age had been 
adopted unconsciously were designedly chosen by the philoso- 
pher as the most appropriate vehicle for theological ideas**. 
The language of Aristotle is addressed to the understanding; 
yet his system, though the noblest effort of antiquity to reunite 
philosophy with nature, is in the main quite as speculative as 
Plato's. The method he proposes is that of demonstration 
founded on induction**. *'Art*^ and science commence when 

" Philebus, 28^ 

13 ** ^vrw^dt** Rep. X. 597''. The Demiurgns, who makes the generals of 
which the individual workman constructs the particulars. lb. 596. Comp. ZeUer, 
Gr. Phil. ii. 198. 308. Brandis, Gr. Ph. 2. 329. 

»» **/uft,nTnt r«» WT«»." " Phado, 246. 

»» Tiraffi. 28". Aristot. Metaph. i. 2. 10. 

^* In furtherance of his main object, that of reconciling specuIatiTe philosophy 
with nature, Aristotle was obliged to enlarge the basis of observation, to discuss a 
wide range of opinions and facts ; but, he quickly deserts this task as of inferior 
unportance, in order to indulge in the more sublime one of speculation. Hence, 
notwithstanding much valuable suggestion as to method (comp. Anal. Pr. i. 30. 
Post. i. 18. Metaph. i. 9. 33; vi. 17. 6), he becomes a partisan of idealism, and 
his philosophy, founded on the widest analogies of the phenomenal world, is in its 
main aspect as transcendental as that which preceded it, a structure magnificent but 

*' i. 0. scientific art. 


from the muldtade of phenomena apprehended by the senses 
and treasured in the memory (so far constituting experience) 
are formed through the power of the understanding certain 
general inferences or axioms embracing all similar cases."*' 
The empiric knows the fact, or how to do a thing; the scientific 
artist knows why or on what principle he does it". Expe- 
rience has shown that the principles of cognition and of exist- 
ence (apx«< and aiTiai) are reducible to four kinds; matter'®, 
moving force "**, form*', and final cause*'. The early philoso- 
phers investigated these but partially and imperfectly. Some 
looked for the form of truth in the mere material*^ ; afterwards, 
when it was felt that the material element could not originate 
its own changes, the cause was thrown farther back to an 
independent external principle of motion, an opinion most 
effectively put forth by Empedocles and Anaxagoras. The 
study of "forms" was pursued by realistic philosophers from 
Pythagoras to Plato, who, however, erred in confounding the 
mere attributes and properties of things with things themselves, 
and who having assumed the sole real existence to be an 
unmoved unity, unmoved not only in respect of generation and 
decay but of all change, were of course spared the trouble of 
looking for a principle of movement (causa effioiens), since 
movement, and so far, indeed, nature also*^ was excluded firom 
their hypotheses. The " causa finalis" did not enter into any 
of these systems as essential, but only incidentally*'; and it 

** Metaph. i. 1. 6. i« ^iv mt^in^tmt fttn/^n^ t» 1% fitfnftnt tft^u^m, t* T tf»,9tu^tmt 

Analjrt. Post. ii. 19. 

*• Not only the Irt, but the ^itrt rt^i i»«#r«» — rw wf^cnK miri»9. Phyi. ii. 8. 

^ vXx. " Cauaa efficiens. 

" Cannt fonnalis or gnbstantialis, " natum natorant." 

" T« «y«^«f, or ov Intut, causa finalis. These four are properly " turuu,'^ causes. 
A^fi is a wider expression ; every «iri«f is an •(x^* ^"^ ^^^'^ ^^*^ '^^^ ^X*^* 
which are not turtau. 

^ *' fl» vXiff iliur Metaph. i. 8. 8. Comp. iii. 8. 

» De Csftlo, iii. 1. 6. 

^ Not itirx^i, but *'r^««'«f r<M" and "x«r« 0ufi^%^»t:" Metaph. i. 7. 6; 
ii. 2. 2; xi. 10. 6. Alex. Aphrod. Comment, by Bonitz. p. 47. That is, Aristotle 


may be added, that, considering its unavoidable obscurity, 
(since though we may often glean a moral from nature, we are 
still far from possessing data wherewith scientifically to mo- 
ralise the universe,) it is probable that, regarded as mere physi- 
cal systems, they would have gained rather than lost had the 
omission been complete*^. But since all the four "causes," 
though diverse in nature, have a conunon relation'', and are all 
found combining in a single object, {e. g, in the case of a 
house, the matter is earth and stones, the "form" the plan, 
the efficient cause the workman's art, the final the utility of the 
work,) Aristotle thought that all the four, including especially 
the final cause, belong to one science, and should find their 
place and explanation in a complete philosophy. Now, in pro- 
blems respecting production and change, to know is to know 
the principle of change. Efficient causes, and, to a certain 
extent, forms, are therefore the objects of physics, since all 
existence in contemplation of physics is change, and though 
matter, strictly speaking, is a mere absence of the characters of 
determinate being, the bare substratum of category**, yet it 
must be clothed in form, and endowed with a dynamic or static 
principle of action before it can be "^wo-if," an object of 
physical study'**. Forms, however, are objects of study in 
themselves, and belong peculiarly to that science which, in 

■hows God to be the good to which all things tend ; Plato only made the good a 
predicate of the Creator. 

^ Comp. Nov. Org. Bk. 2. Aph. 2. Plato's teleology is exemplified in the 
Timaens, where it is argaed that God did so and so because it was best, the fact of 
his haying done so being arbitrarily assumed. See pp. 46^ and 68« Phaedo, p. 97. 

* *'Oi> %mf i», akXot ^^t ^«v Xiy«^fMti ^vf'jv" (Alex. Aphrod. to Met r, 2, 
p. 197, Bonitz), their point of common direction or conrergence being the grand 
object of metaphysics. 

* t. «. The hxn ^(MTn, ultimate, not approximate matter (Metaph. iv. 4. 8), the 
" itnmftu •»/' potential or quasi being, the middle term between form and privation. 
It ii something in itself unperceived, "ayutrros ttaf aurtif" but "irimfrv »aT 
ttutXtyietf" a presumption or inference from actual phenomena. Phys. i. 7. 13. 
Metaph. iv. 4; vi. 7; vi. 10. 18. 

*• Phys. ii. 1. " »v fMuv vt^i mt vXm ht y^tn^i^uf t#» ^vrix^v, «AX« xeu (fitXf* 
TfiUi rm wrtas Phys. il 2. 11) rw »«t« t«f X^ysv, xen fAMXKov." Metaph. vi. 11. 13. 


coDsideradon of the higher nature of its object**, takes pre- 
cedence of all others, the science of being, or metaphysics''^. 
All science is to Aristotle as to Plato, the apphcation of 
thought to discover being and its principles**; and the first 
science is that which inquires into the nature and principles 
not of a particular kind of truth or being, but of being in 
general; being in its abstract form and widest extent**. We 
are here thrown back upon those Platonic speculations to whose 
realistic results Aristotle was opposed. Plato reduced all 
philosophy to metaphysics (3iaXf«T4*n), to a work of pure 
reason. Aristotle made the exertion of the philosophical 
reason conditional on the acquisition of experience, yet would 
have held philosophy incomplete if disqualified from expatiating 
in the domain of pure. reason. Here the common processes of 
induction and demonstration must be admitted to be in- 
eflScient** ; yet from things which, though but feebly known, 
are to a certain extent within our reach (yi/Aiv yvta^ifxa) we must 
do our best to arrive at absolute knowledge**; that knowledge 
which is ever pursued with more avidity in proportion to its 
remoteness and difficulty, as lovers set a higher value upon 
a hasty glimpse of what they love than on accurate views 

** That of which " ^uffit" is only part Metaph. iii. 8, 4. 

» Pliy«. i. 9. 6; ii. 2. 11. 

*» T# rt irTi. Anal. Post ii. 2. Metaph. x. 7. 6. Zeller, Phil. d. Gr. iL 866. 
878. 886. 

** T» 9* MvXtts, or j •», and x'*(*^r»9. Metaph. iii. 1 ; v. 1. The books of the 
metaphyvics are quoted from Bekker^s edition. 

« lb. V. 1. 8. 

^ Metaph. vi. (7,) 4. 3, "r« ^vfu yM^iux,** or "t« »mto\Mr Comp. Analyt 
Post. i. 2. Metaph. i. 2. 4. A t\avT9f, i. 8. Nature and the human intellect 
seem to be at opposite ends of the scale of cognition; that which is most fiuniliar to 
us is most remote from the reality of nature ; that which is nearest to nature is 
most remote from us. That which appears to us as the " r%X»s " is natun^'s "»f;t;«; " 
an »^x^ (*^" »» «*''»'«» »» ymrauf n ynatrMTtu, Metaph. iv. 1) is the last acquisition of 
thought — and the first principle of existence. It is ** 9-»}ftirari tmv aus^nvim^f' 
most difficult for man to know, but " /MtXtfra tri^rtirtf," most characteristic of 
science, since it is this which makes science possible, and is also the means of its 
being acquired. " Atu retvTa xat i» rovruf raXXa yvai^i^tr^t.''* Metaph. i. 2. 


of many other things". Aristotle's metaphysics, or "philoso- 
phia prima/' is, as he himself states '^ a divine science; it was 
no new enterprise, but a repetition of the old attempt to solve 
dogmatically, if not demonstratively, the problem comprising 
ontology and theology". The object of the metaphysician's 
immemorial research, ''being," is not to be confounded with 
the accidental, for this exists only nominally and is no object 
of science*®; nor is it the true, for the true has existence only 
in predication, not as an objective reality, but only as a modi- 
fication of thought. Neither is primary being any attribute, 
for attributes are the subordinate categorems, i. e, those modes 
of being which are always secondary to the subject or sub- 
stance *\ Being, then^ is substance; but substance itself re- 
quires limitation; it is not the universal, this being but a 
relation destitute of substantive reality"; nor for a similar 
reason is it the generic; the central being is the individual 
independent subject of predication, the object of experience or 
intuition*". The subject of predication (w9ro*«/*evov) consists 
of matter and form; and it would seem at first sight as if 
matter were the true substance, since it is that alone which 
remains after abstracting attributes and predicates; yet this 
cannot be ; for substance must have separate individuality, a 
character belonging rather to form or to the compound of wmi 
and /uop^j?** (the "to o-wOstov' or concrete,) than to the vxn 

»» De Part. An. i. 5. ^ Metaph. i. 2. 12 ; v. 1. 10 ; x. 7. 9. 

^ **r« ittiXat Tt Mtu fvv xat etu ^nr^v^iMir s«w mu aTt^v/$$9W9" Uetapll. 
Ti. 1. 7. " T< &t9ft rt T# iT**.*' Pin. Fr. Inc. Clem. Alex. Strom. 6, p. 726, Pott. 

^ It is indeed the opposite of the **to 99 f something tyyvt r«v /kh nrt (Mel 
y. 2), that which is neither necessary nor usual. 

^^ Not r«)i hut r«i«y)i. All the predicables are 0ufi^g&n»Ta t»u •vrtt esteniial 

*^ Moreover, it is impossible to reduce all genera to one ; Soph. Blench, xi. 8 ; 
the One being not beyond things — iret^m '^t» it9kk»" Anal. Post. i. 11 ; but in 
things, "»««•• «raXX«»i»." 

M«f w Ta aXXa. Metaph. vi. 3. 3 ; x. 17. 

** "««/ »» A)if Xtytreu t#Ji rt." De An. ii. 1. 


only**. Form may be regarded as the point of the encounter 
of science and sensation, of thought and nature. In the real 
world of sensation substance is the concrete ; in the reality of 
thought the title of substance would properly rest with form ; 
for the u><n in becoming substance is transformed through the 
act of production, and it is by some corresponding transform- 
ation that we must account for the seeming paradox of the 
unity of the object of definition, of which the true essence or 
£ihf is the last difference, the genus acting relatively the part 
of a logical wXjj*". Every object comprises in its unity a two- 
fold complexity ; complexity of origin {u^n and /J^oppn) and of 
definition (genus and difference). Logical unity differs from 
natural or numerical*^; one contains more things, the other 
more ideas ; to thought or science the individual is contained 
in the species, the species in the genus ; to nature the genus 
and species are in the individual. Form is the common limit 
of the synthesis of nature and of thought; and in the am- 
biguity of expression which unites the individual and general, 
the forms of sensation and those of science, we meet the crisis 

** Since vXn is nothing, or at least no thing ; no actual thing, bat only an ex- 
pression for the abstract possibility of becoming. Metaph. Tii. 1. **r» V vkMtf 

** The thing (ro3i) is not vXn, but an ttiof lycXay; matter is predicated of it 
(fsi/m«y), but is not the thing iuelf ; the statue is not stone, but a statue of stone; 
position is not secondary to the door-stone, but the latter owes its name and nature 
to its position. The last form of the vAff is in &ct the f*»^, or ii)«« realised. On 
the other hand, the thing is not the ytwf, for this is not its essential peculiarity, but 
what it shares with other things — encompassing a wider sphere of thought as matter 
a wider range of nature; hence the differentia is the nearest (logical) approach to 
the actual roii. The material or last form immediately preceding a given change is 
** uXn trx^aTti,*' approximate matter ; " u^n v^vm " is the indecomposable ; that which 
cannot be called txuftftSf (i.e, made of,) in regard to any thing prior to itself; that 
which is " ivtofAu/* in respect of all other things, but no actuality. Resting upon 
this ideal analysis, Aristotle overleaps the series of physical differentise between 
approximate matter and his notional vXn ^ftfrn-, the investigation of which, conducted 
after a different fashion, is the task of experimental science. 

** m^MiftT9f ttiu and a^tifA^. 


of the system, which, hastening from material units*' to 
scientific unity, unexpectedly passes by means of forms from 
the world of things to that of ideas. Form is not bxti and 
fji-of^fi, but genus modified in the differentia, " immaterial sub- 
stance,"^' that is, not the thing, but the notion of it, and 
Aristotle, postponing chemical analysis to a more sweeping 
process***, proceeds unincumbered to explain the problem of 
nature by two magic words**, resolving all her changes into a 
twofold power, an active and a passive, a "potentiality" and 
an " energeia."*' Each movement or change may be regarded 
as an energeia (EVi^yeia axE^uj)*' on its way towards the 
realisation of its end or ethg, which realised contains the ope- 
rative principle, the Bve^yeia, or act itself. A thing exists 
" hvafjLEi'* when in view of form, but eve^yeia or £VTf^f;f£la** 
when arrived at it**. Movement is thus determined or no- 
tionally suspended by act*', which creates as it were a pause 
or resting-place in the continuity of nature. It may be either 
as " Kivn<rii vpog iuvafxiv** or as " ouina TT^of Tiva i»Xjiv," as the 
artist's work to the material of which it is made ; or the action 
reflectively and completed in itself*^. In every case, act is 
essentially prior to ^uvafjn;; for ^uva/j^ig is predicated only in 


'0r» »^tifAtf froWXtt vXfff tx^t" But, if matter be got rid of, and matter 
devoid of form is a mere abstraction, then all things are **iv4vs^ one. 

^ wtrm ftMv vXfff . Metaph. iv. 8, end ; yi. 7. 

** "«v *a4ok»y ktyif rif.** Metaph. xi. 4. 1. 

*' The ideal starting-point and end of movement, admitted to be indefinable, and, 
in feet, to be merely relative notions discoverable only by analogy. Metaph. 
viii. 6. 3. 

^ Both are included in the word ^vveifuf, which in one sense is " t^X" f**^*" 
fi>fiTi»ti" or "nara ttnn^n ^vftifjuf" in another potentiality, the Gkrman "ver- 
niogen." Comp. Metaph. viii. 1. 6. 

»=» Phys. iu. 2. 

" The two are correlative terms which act unites. Entelechy is the fulfilment of 
potentiality, tn^yuet the act of fulfilment. Met. x. 9. 12. Comp. viii. 3. 9; 
viii. 8. 11. 

w Metaph. viii. 8. 10. 

»' " n^a^if riXua." lb. viii. 6. 4 ; viii. 8. 10. 


relation to act, and is a conception*' which would never have 
arisen but for the notional decomposition of a real object, i. e, 
its realisation or completion in an uio^^^\ this realisation is 
the texo^, that end or purpose which is nature's afx", amidst 
generation and corruption itself as ungenerated and eternal as 
the ideas of Plato**", and though not in the Platonic sense 
"separable,"" yet in a certain way a house may be said to be 
made out of a house, health out of health '*, the product from 
the conception of the artist, the material from the immaterial. 
The conceptions attaching to objects thus constituting so large 
a part, if not the whole of the objects, it was nearly as easy for 
Aristotle as for Parmenides or Plato to hold being and its 
principles to be within the reach of science. Every synthetic 
change is produced in the potential by something prior in act 
containing the form of the product. Man produces man, an 
art is learned by practising the art, so that in every case, whe- 
ther in nature or art, the potential becomes the actual through 
actuality, and form or essence is identical with act"'. In treat- 
ing of physics, Aristotle had classed the elements of bodies'^ 
under three notions or heads, matter, form, and privation. 
Matter, however, being only a middle term between the two 
contraries, privation and form, which in act reciprocally exclude 
each other, matter as representing that which is not, yet may 
be, stands alone in respect of act or realised form, absorbing 
the other alternative** under the convenient term "potential." 
Change and motion would be inconceivable unless there were 
an end to which motion tends, an unchanging cause of 

*• "«yyarrT0f »«/ «tfru».'* Metaph. vi. 10. 18. 

^ The child precedes the man ; yet the man again precedes the child ; the hen 
the egg. The notion of a uXn will be found ultimately to vanish in the totality of 

"* " «*« li^of w ytyftreci «XA« ir^ou^m^^u.'* For the same reason it is entitled to 
priority, since nothing potential is eternal ; it may or may not be. 

« Metaph. vi. 7. 6. " lb. viii. 8. 6. 

•* rT»4X***f •CAi*" «»»w^«^A^'*"*'« 


fk m^if . . . ey/ifiifin*cf,*^ Phys. i. 7. 10. 


change**. Motion and change are self-evident phenomena, 
denied only by dreamers. Act implies movement, and move- 
ment is the introduction to act. The brass existed before the 
statue, but was not the statue until the individuality of form 
was realised in act through movement. The sphere of move- 
ment is that of nature and of experience, through which we 
may rise upwards to its cause, or penetrate downwards to its 
necessary substratum or condition*^. It is the road through 
which nature travels to her end. The end which movement 
tends to realise is form. Form in each being is the good for 
which nature has fitted it. All beings have an inherent ten- 
dency or "desire"** directed to some end constituting their 
good. Nature 8 end is not, like that of art, a production dis- 
tinct from the producer, but realised internally, that active 
inherent principle** through which in a progressively ascending 
series each being is itself, resuming in its own perfection every 
stage of being precedent to it^^ Separating in idea the actual 
being from the conditions out of which it proceeded, we 
observe the latter under the relative name of potentiality, 
exhibiting a tendency to reach the more developed and perfect; 
and so far actuality or form may be identified with the moving 
principle itself, as instigating and determining movement ^\ 
In inferior beings this principle takes the general name of 
nature^'; in animated nature, and especially in man, it is 

"* «i i»T»t «;;t'"* Metaph. i. 3. 1 ; ii. 2. 2 ; ii. 4. 4. 

^ A vXn. 

•■ 4 «#w»r/f «(c^/; rtt •#■«» p ivi^i/«. De Amm. iii. 10. 

" " t^a^i^t riX«i«" -"iit h x^n^tf r» TtXos" Met. viii. 8. 10. 

^® au rtf iipil^ns vraf^tt r« it^tn^ot. De Anim. ii. 8. Elemental compounds are 
not mixtures but combinations, forms distinct from each of their constituents. 
Oi^ganisation is a heterogeneous synthesis of homogeneous compounds, of which the 
unity is the life (De Fart An. ii. 1) ; the first form of life is the process of nutrition 
in the extended line of an alimentary canal ; sensation implies lateral expansion, or 
the second dimension {r« tftv^Pit »ett oirteht) ; independent motion in space sap. 
poses the third dimension, the solid, by the derelopment of motive members arranged 
in pairs perpendicular to the axis of the original organization. 

7> Metaph. xi. 4. 8. 

'^ Or necessity. Fhys. ii. 9. 


called life or soul. The great end of motion and generation is 
not abstract good, nor is it, as in art, the mere production of 
lifeless forms ; it is the progressive perfecting of nature's self, 
of the Tarious strings whose combination is to sound her har- 
monies, she rises from movement to habit, from habit to deli- 
berate self-sustaining action, and her crowning effort is not the 
most universal^', but, on the contrary, the most individual, the 
elaboration of a living, acting, thinking being^^. Matter, 
being mere potentiality or receptivity, is indefiniteness itself, 
absolutely destitute of choice ; the inorganic is infinitely divisi- 
ble into homogeneous parts ; the plant has more individuality, 
yet each individual is ready to pass by subdivision into many^*; 
with every step in the ascending scale life becomes more hete- 
rogeneous and concentrated, dispersion diminishing as intensity 
increases, until in man nature sums up all she had done before; 
he not only vegetates and feels, but chooses and thinks ; his 
aspirations are not mechanical but deliberate ; and it is in his 
soul^* that act or energy pre-eminently combines the essential 
properties of an a^x»»"> as being that which is, which moves, 
and which produces; the good^^ as constituting the realisation 
of his nature'*; the source of cognition, since the potential is 
discerned only through actuality, for the act and the thought 
are one^. The objects of mental activity are the actualisations 
of form. Those of sensation differ from sensation and from 
the sentient mind only through the matter in which they re- 
side. Where matter is not, diversity is not'\ Mind shapes 

^ As Plato thought. 

'* Hetaph. viii. 8. 11. "T« ytnru vrnffa ry 0»rtf «'f»«^«.*' 

'• De Anim. il 2. 9. 

7* **90vs «2i4w^r«f.'* Metaph. xi. 9. 6. De Anim. iii. 4. 

^* r« ov r?iM. Evil, as also accident, is only in the alteniatiTe contained in the 
potential, and is " vrri^fy rm ^vfm/uttt" Comp. Schwegler, vol. It. p. 184. 

** «'f«&f rtXtim — ivf^fM complete in itself. 

•• T« ivfofiu ufrm ttf tn^ytiaf «fay/U9«t tv^t^xtrew citjo Y in fon^if 4 wifytm* 
<Jrr' i| tn^ytims A tw»/us' »eu )«« r*vr» tr$t*v9Ttt yiyvm^MV^'n, Metaph. viii. 9. 

Sand 5. 
•• viL 6. 6. 


itself to its object, it receives but forms, which, however, were 
above shown to be the very things identified by its action with 
itself. When an idea is presented to us we try to open or 
analyse it, to discover what is potentially contained or involved 
in it; the difficulty is cleared up when the analysis is com- 
pleted, or when the possibilities of the problem have been 
actualised within the mind. Mind, or rather thought, is 
nature's masterpiece ; not the mere lyre, but the music*' ; alone 
in nature it adds to nature, turning bhnd affinities and instincts 
to its purposes, and producing the forms of art, science, and 
virtue. Virtue is the instrument"' through which mind accom- 
plishes its end**. It is not itself knowledge, but the habitual 
conformity of the irrational soul to the rational. Pleasure, the 
concomitant and prompter of all action in sentient beings, 
is the attractive force through which the good proportionably 
to its relative degree of excellence, influences the soul. But it 
is only when the natural tendeucies to the agreeable, called 
passions and appetites, have been disciplined to the sway of 
reason, that the soul obtains tlie firuition of its true end in the 
free exercise of its energies**. Every energy is pleasurable in 
reference to its kindred habit, to the good man that according 
to virtue, to the perfect man that conformed to the most perfect 
virtue, the highest, the most intense, sustained, and inde- 
pendent pleasure being that energy of the soul (Qiu^ia) ac- 
cording to its proper virtue (a-o^ia) which is the last end of its 
existence, consisting in the contemplation of the pure, neces- 
sary, and eternal things akin to its own nature**". But the 
activity of human thought is necessarily interrupted and imper- 
fect. There is edways a difficulty to be surmounted, a resistance 
to overcome. Man is the actualisation of a possibility, a cer- 
tain form of matter, and all matter is subject to the alternative 
of being or not being *^. Nothing so circumstanced can main- 

•« M. Mor. i. 86. 9. «^ Eth. Nic. vii. 14. 

"' Eth. Bud. viL 14. 20. " M. Moral, i. 34. 

" Eth Nic. X. 6. 
" Comp. Met. >nii. 8. 16 and 18. 


tain continuous activity. The motive principle of the soul 
in its human comhinadon is an effort which caonot last^^ 
often requiring repose and doomed to eventual dissolution. 
But there are hodies celestial as well as terrestrial ; the moved 
and the unmoved, the perishable and the eternal. If all sub- 
stance were perishable all derivative being would be so also **. 
But the world moves on uninterruptedly, always changing, yet 
ever the same, like time, the eternal now, knowing neither 
repose nor death. There is a principle which makes good the 
failure of identity by multiplying resemblances, the destruction 
of the individual by an eternal renewal of the form"®. This 
Regular Eternal movement implies an eternal mover^' ; not an 
inert eternity such as the Platonic " e* Jbj ," but one in act, for 
otherwise he might never have acted, and the existence of the 
world would be an accident. Nor can he be partly in act and 
partly potential, for even so motion would not be eternal but 
contingent and precarious; he must be therefore wholly in act, 
a pure untiring activity, and for the same reasons wholly im- 
material". Of such a nature was the "Nov?" of Anaxagoras 
and the duplicate forces of Empedocles. A merely potential 
cause, such as Night or Chaos, could not have fulfilled the 
conditions of cosmical anteriority ; Act was first, and the same 
universe has existed for ever, one persistent cause directing its 
continuity. The highest sphere of the heavens, that of the 
fixed stars, revolves uniformly imder the influence of the first 
cause, who unmoved moves all; or if the tenor of things 
be considered as broken by generation and decay, and as con- 
taining a variety too great to be accounted for by a single 
cause, we must then suppose other causes as there are also 

•• Bth. Nic. X. 4. ' " Metaph. xi. 6. 1. 

** Be Anim. ii. 4. (Econ. i. 3. Be Gen. Anim. ii. 1. 3. 

" Metaph. x. 2. 5. Motion has no beginning, for the conditions of the first 
motion would imply a prior motion. 

•■ The 2uf«fAu n having been proved to be " iiJi;^*^"*'' A** •<»«'/* aod therefore 
'«f#«^f/' Metaph. viii. 8. 16. 

VOL. I. B B 

., .4 A.'-* . 
, .,r«i-=r.r 

— = -: rjz ~ - — .-.: .T, i -vii^i 'ly i-m - 

_-— , - - " — ' -was- i-r'^rL.n\ii~ X- * per- 

». -_- — -~ z -•' .' * la -n,: — .fiMi-t-T .:t'iniei- 
:» : :.jri:r.;^ r--a- ■"vrv--i ii . t" a m- r? etabo- 
v .c-i.-^i r ^.Hi:", Tje ph-'nDm-jna of 
--•. -•-.■.^■•■i. t -* -^--t nnstr : ~ ait; regola- 
i ;.- :-zt?-u. j-;r iit; ijrntxal the r^n- 
■ ,-r-* : - u-teit^uti xn-tKi ia tte viable 
. -. -*-•'—• - • icii m- K ai'iivi^niil and self- 
. iic £^ • — ^ r.i-. ;.j wb.'in the specn- 
.js -^-—•-■i tv — iin« 3: answer the demand 

KK It SB mipin, ioppawd U be tbe 
: . B tmuitj "iii lfc« nyihioJ 
■CD. Plaiu. rim«. SS*. ■*. Bqrab. 

. jod iHia ■•)»( aanant, or Qod. 
DVBT wloch kc oHi " vAii rmn.' 


of theological metaphysics, was disposed in opposition to cer- 
tain cotemporary theorists to recall something like that living 
unamhiguous principle which the old poets in advance of the 
materialistic cosmogonists from night and chaos had disco- 
vered in Uranus or Zeus'". He quotes the emphatic line — 

For the course of induction and of thought is inverse to that 
of nature, in which the cause of heing is not, as Speusippus 
thought, the germ, but the perfect being anterior to the germ. 
Soon, however, the vision of personality is withdrawn; we 
have, in fact, reached that culminating point of thought where 
the real blends with the ideal'*; moral action and objective 
thought as well as material body are excluded; the divine 
action on the world retains its veil of impenetrable mystery, 
and to the utmost ingenuity of research presents but a contra- 
diction. The series of efScient causes resolves itself at this 
extreme into final. That wliich moves, itself unmoved, can 
only be the immobility of thought or form'**. Form is the 
ideal which nature presses on to realise. Nature is ever striv- 
ing after something better"', and the Divinity moves the 
world as the object of love or rational desire moves the in- 
dividual; he is, in fact, the first object of desire and intel- 
ligence {tt^utov o^bktov Kai vo»?tov), both these being coincident 
and one**". The true object of choice is not seeming, but real 
good; the object creates the desire not the desire the object; 
our rational preferences are consequences of our judgments 
rather than our judgments of our preferences; desire implies a 
wiKTij or act of the understanding; the vontrii depends on a 

" lb. xiii. 4. 4. " v^m unrn «mi» uXnt, 

•" PliyB. ii. 7. ^^^ De Gen. et Corr. ii 10, 11. 

*** The «f«Sff of natiire is mechamcal or instmctiye ; in man it becomet deliberate 

~-^«9X« or ^fMufi^ts tm opposed to t^ttufum, or animal propensity, (De Anim. iil 9. 

Bth. Nic. i. IS) yet often in practice at variance with his intelligence; in the 

highest sphere the •^«r«y and wnm are one absolately, "r««T«rv r« v^r* t« 

«»r«.'' Hetaph. xi. 7. 2. 

B B 2 


voutov, and the whole order of positive forms or of the good'^ 
is vofiTov naff auTo, discoverable not mediately but imme- 
diately"*, especially the essence, and of all essences more 
especially the simple and actual****. God is therefore both 
formal, efficient, and final cause; he is the one form comprising 
all forms, the one good including all good, the goal of the 
longing of the universe. And since of final causes there are 
two kinds, one extemd, as a work of art, the other internal or 
self-realised"*, it is in this latter way that the unmoved 
Being is the final cause; he is not like the ends pursued by 
the discursive reason, but his own ou evexa, having no end 
beyond himself. He is, therefore, no moral agent, for, if he 
were, he would be but an instrument for producing something 
still higher and greater'". Ilfal/f, and of course voma-ii, being 
excluded, there remains but one sort of act to be assigned 
to him who is at once all act yet all repose, activity of mind 
or thought ***'. His existence is unbroken enjoyment of that 
which is most excellent among men, but which with us is only 
momentary. For that which we call our pleasure or our 
highest pleasure, which distinguishes wakefulness and sen- 
sation, and which gives a reflected charm to hope and me- 
mory***, is with him perpetual. The divine quality of active 
yet tranquil self-contemplation characterising intelligence is 

*^ Not like things consisting in negation or privation, discoverable only through 
their opposites. 

"'» Supr. 

'*" As sight, life, thought. Comp. Met. viiL 8, 9. 

^^ "A 9r^0^t *u trrn i? W<v." De Coelo, ii. 12. 9. Oomp. Metaph. viiL 8. 
Phys. ii. 2. 9. Eth. Nic. x. 6. Eth. Bud. vu. 15. 15. 

** tn^iM ^v%9it »«T m^iTtif m^ttmf it ^ttf rtXum. (Eth. Nic. viL 18 ; x. 4.) 
S«n^tt is said to be rather rest than movement (De Anim. i. 8. Phys. viL 3) ; 
nature is all movement, thought all repose ; the supreme happiness of life (specula- 
tion) is in the tranquillity obtained through a successful struggle against the pas- 
sions. Yet does not the very essence of thought consist in its mobility and power 
of transference firom object to object? 

'w Comp. Ehet i. 6. 15 ; i. 11. 6. Poet. vi. 12. 


pre-eminently possessed by the divine mind, his thought, 
which is his existence, being, unlike ours, unconditional and 
wholly act. And if God is worthy of our admiration as 
enjoying eternally what with us is only transitory, he is still 
more so, if, as is really the case, his happiness is greater in 
degree as well as in duration. The object of the absolute 
thought is the absolute good ; in contemplating it the supreme 
Finality can but contemplate itself"" ; its immutable action is 
as the uniform self-circling revolution of the stellar heavens*" ; 
and, as all vofi<ng consists in contact or combination with voma, 
so all material interference being here excluded "^ the dis- 
tinction of subject and object vanishes in complete identifica- 
tion, and the divine " thought is the thinking of thought." 
The energy of mind is life, and God is that energy in its 
purity and perfection; he is therefore life itself, eternal and 
perfect"' ; this indeed sums up all that is meant by the term 

Such, says Aristotle, is the principle in which nature and the 
world depend. If it be asked how these transcendentalisms 
came to be a part of a professedly empirical philosophy, or 
whence our knowledge of them, he replies"*, that there is a 
faculty in the soul bearing the same relation to its proper 
objects {voriTa or voufiBva) as sensation does to phenomena"^ 

110 r^Q u ^^^„ cftMTf,** — Man's good is beyond himself; not so God's. Itfuffuf 
«>« lu xmf irf^», i»««vy }i MVTtff «vcy. Eth. Eud. vii. 12. 17. The eternal act which 
produces the world's life is the eternal desire of good. 

"^ The movement of wmv is compared to »imX«^o(/s. De Anim. i. 8. 

'*' Ef TMf mnu vXnt t» «vt« t0vi r« t^ovf tuu to fMufuttf, (De Anim. iii. 4. 12.) 
Sensation is an imperfect blending of subject and object ; understanding (the MVf 
inmfut or )<«Mi«) a more perfect — the twt tn^yuf or Murif complete identification. 

"3 The fit^s rtkuH. 

"* Hetaph. viii. 10. Anal. Post. ii. 16. Eth. Nioom. vi. 5 and 9. De Anim. 
lu. 6. 

"^ De Anim. iii. 4. 3. The mental processes form a circle ; after tu^n^tt, in- 
cluding ** titct tu9^%9ii^ and "mmh^ come ^ttfrtt^ut, ftimfitfi, )<«?«<«» with the results 
^« and tiri^mfAUr the ktter (demonstrative science) being mediately based on 
immediate apprehenbions ; the intuition of uvf closing the round brings us back to 
mt^n^n, for r«i;v belongs to both ends of the mental scale, ("r«y ir;^«T«» i*"' 


a faculty through which we recognise the ohject with certainty, if 
indeed we recognise it at all. Truth and falsehood are not in 
things but in our opinions and affirmations about them; truth 
is when we correctly join tilings really united, falsehood when we 
incorrectly join things or separate them. Falsehood is not in 
the sensation, but in the inference"'; and in the case of 
" cucrBnra" which are always compound or concrete, there is 
always a possibility of error. But in things simple and 
necessary*", there is a diflference both as to truth and as to 
being. Here truth has a different meaning; it is simply per- 
ception (Oiytiv or vostv); its contrary being non-perception, 
" ayvosiv.*' I recognise a diagonal; I have a conception of it — 
express its existence; (^avai) but I cannot pronounce an 
affirmation about it admitting truth or falsehood (icaraipac-ii) 
without connecting it with something else. So in all cases of 
simple apprehension, whether through the senses or reason, the 
first conveyance of an impression is always correct; and if, as 
in simple vovfAeva, the cause of inferential error"* be removed, 
then falsehood is impossible; whatever is conceived is true. 
The first axioms of science are neither common notions"" nor 
formal demonstrations*'**; they come self-recommende4 and ap- 
proved, their only demonstration being intuition. Aristotle did 
not keep his great principle of experience steadily in view; his 
strong sense was repelled by the paradoxes of the ideal theory, 
but had not sufficiently explored the sources of those fallacies, 
or the procedure which was eventually to replace them. His 
practice, therefore, vacillates witli his principles; the inductive 
reasoner who proclaims the relativity of knowledge"*, and 

«^«rt^«/') it supplies both major and minor premiss, it is a^x^ *"^ rtXof. "E» 
raif tiitri rut at$^inrut t» wnvm t^rtf." De Anim. iii. 8. Anal. Post ii. 19. Eth. 
Nic. vi. 6 and 9. 

iti^ii. Metaph. iii. 5. 23. Anal. Post. ii. 2 and 19. De Anim. iii. 8, s. 3, 4. 
"^ r« fun 9tff4iTtt — turimt mnv vXm. 

"• The iXfi. "• J«5«. Top. i. 14. 

»» Metaph. ii. 2. 14 and 19; iii. 4. 2; iii. 6. 2; x. 7. 2. 
•»' Metaph. iii. 6. 4. 


caieftdly keeping witbin the limits of observation professes to 
wait for further experience***, suddenly becomes the bold 
speculator making theology the very source and foundation of 
all science, the infallible authority which no inferior science 
should dare to contradict"". From the time of Parmenides 
the great difficulty had been to put a right construction on 
those general ideas or "forms"*'* which the mind in view of 
phenomena elaborates within itself. In the pride of infant 
knowledge they were assumed as true, true objectively, and 
true exclusively. The failure of the theory in its original 
application made Socrates only the more resolute in turning to 
moral science the baffled resources of the physists, his whole 
life being devoted to securing the accuracy of definitions and 
the demonstrative force of general propositions by dialectical 
discussion. He sought the true essence*'* by collecting its 
scattered elements*'®, by carefiilly weeding out fallacy, by prob- 
ing the correctness of analogies, by superstitiously exploring 
the intuitional wisdom supposed to be contained in words or 
mythic traditions*'^, until the result appeared not the mere 
precarious judgment of the iudividual, but an echo of the 
universe, a spark of eternal truth elicited in the collision of 
mind with mind*'^ The feeling which had animated the forms 
of Phidias obtained a more enduring expression in the language 
of Plato. But the ideals of philosophy, like those of art, 
become delusive when arbitrarily estranged from the living 
forms which suggested them. The ideal theory in which 
thoughts usurped the place of things crumbled to pieces in the 
hands of a logician. The type of generality became more 

^^ De Gen. An. iii. 10. De Coelo, ii. 6. 

*'' Metaph. ii. 2. 7. Comp. i. 2 ; x. 3 and 7. 

*** " yftt^tfMiTt^a Kara r»9 X«y#f.*' Phys. i. 5. 7. 

'«* " Ti wrtl' or " Tii» rw •VTH «3i«r." Metaph. xii. 4. 4. Plat. Sophiit. 264*. 

>» Phsedr. 266*'. 

>" Phileb. le**. Timse. 40 •. 

*» Plat de Repub. iv. 435*. 


hollow ^^ and unreal in the ascent to higher genera, until the 
last ''idea" was undistinguishable from nonentity, since the 
real resides not in generals, but in peculiarities and differences. 
However the dialectician may multiply his questions or extend 
his yiews, the truth he can attain is only more or less of the 
probable'"*. The farther he goes the farther he recedes from 
the real. He obtains but a nominal unity barren of result, 
and at last absorbs into an idea the essence or reality he seeks. 
Hence the subordinate rank of dialectics with Aristotle. With 
him they are but the prelude to real science, the review of its 
history,the discussion of its terms, or the positing its problems ''\ 
They are inferior to solitary thought, because more under the 
influence of opinion, while the other is a communication with 
things ''*. They seem to stand in much the same relation to 
sophistry as medical practice to empiricism, a less degree of the 
same sort of thing. The office of a scientific organon was 
therefore transferred to Ancdytics. Analytics are the science 
of demonstration. They do not interrogate but assume; 
their object is not the discussion of the probable but the 
demonstration of the true"'. Such a procedure, however, im- 
plies the existence of some other science or source through 
which the fundamental assumptions are to be acquired and 
justified. One such source is sensational experience and 
induction. Logical analysis does not widen the knowledge of 
facts; it only serves to bring out more clearly what is already 
contained in general propositions. But the general propositions 
obtained by induction to be conclusive should be founded on a 
complete knowledge of all particulars. To make good the 
deficiencies of this fundamental process, Aristotle, in default of 

*^ " haXttiTtiun ntu xiMrf ." De Anim. i, 1. 9. 
*"* " Xn^if rw patfofupw luu a>^«|«i;." Anal. Fr. L 1. 4. 

^^ '' ttwtfttti" " 3i««r«^ff^«T«/' &c. Scieiicei of mere observation, too, are rather 
the dialectical preparation of philosophy than phifosophy itself. 
*^ Sophist El. vii. 3. Comp. Eth. Nic. z. 5. 
**> Anal, Pr. i. 1. Post. i. 2. Metaph. ii. 2. 


other means of verification, is obliged to go back to the re- 
sources of dialectics, to the probable, the generally admitted, 
the dicta of the wise, even proverbs or quotations from the 
poets"*. This, however, is not enough, nor is Aristotle himself 
satisfied with these sources. The variable and contingent can- 
not constitute science. Science is of being, not the phenomenal, 
but the real which the phenomenal hides. Doubtless it is to 
phenomena that we must first appeal. Beserved sensations 
become "forms" or "phantasms" in the mind or memory, 
among which the reasoning faculty (havoia) discovering a 
principle of imion"* pursues it up to the highest limits of 
generalisation"^. In this way may be gained the indemon- 
strable "majors," or peculiar principles of which each science 
makes a thesis in reference to its own "ytvoj," or kind of 
being*". But beyond the principles proper to each science are 
the general axioms and laws of thought appUcable to all being, 
the proportions or relations encircling all genera*". These 
belong to the first philosophy, the science of first principles 
and of universal being. Mathematics measure phenomena; 
physics, less abstract, (the "second philosophy,") rise nearer 
to their causes; but "wisdom" is the science of sciences**", 
the last arrived at (Metaphysics) yet first in importance**®, 
that which Plato made the whole of philosophy, and which 
Aristotle, though more regardful of the world of experience, still 
considered as the chief part of it. Of aU sciences it is the 
most exact and perfect, as containing both vovg and sm<rrvifAny not 

^** T« )«««vi'r« wafn it r»tt vtXurrtte h ^rott rt^Mf. Topic. 1. 1 and 2. i xiui 
)«»fi rwr %ntu ^«/ufy. Eth. Nic vi. 10 ; z. 2. 

'^ r« mfuftf, the ideal unit Anal. Post ii. 19. 

I3T €t ^^ cL^at 9t^t U«^r«» iftvru^tmt irri ^at^^tnai." AnaL Pr. i. 80. 

'* Including in a manner {*»*$) all vrfMi^iv*. Metaph. i. 2. 4 and 6. 

'* Wiidom or " Sophia,'* is properly the intellectual yirtue or habit of Theoiia ; 
bat see Metaph. i. 1 . 17. 

140 u pifst philosophy," " itrvt^ xt^cXnv i;^0t;r« ivirnnfuti rttv Tif/Mtrarmvy* t. e. 
of the A^x"** ^^ ^^ himself. Eth. Nic. vi. 6. Metaph. i. 2. 14 ; r. 1. 10. 
'* n #«^Mt 9%9i T» tuitn Kmt ^imd." M. Moral, i. 35, 


only the inferences from principles, but the truth of principles 
themselves ^'^ These principles are not inductions, but the 
essential habits of the intellect. ''Is it then," asks Aristotle'^, 
''to be supposed that science must precede science; that we 
already possess within us the most exalted of the sciences with- 
out being aware of it ? " No, these habits of the soul require 
experience to develop them ; we possess them potentially, but 
not in act"*; they are not, however, slow results of ordinary 
induction, the characters, though invisible, are already traced, 
and are rapidly called forth by experience, so that in acquir- 
ing them it would seem as if the soul was not learning, 
but as Plato said, rememhering^^^. In its first condition the 
soul is as it were asleep, requiring to be awakened in order 
to enter into possession of its inherent right'^'. By con- 
versing with the outward world, by receiving and incorporating 
the voTfira contained in the aicrdnTa, it at length learns to 
resume and recognise its own being ^^, to identify itself with 
lie universal thought surrounding it'*^. Its powers, which 
before were as colours awaiting their brilliancy from the sun'^, 
becoming actualised by an influence from without'^', form 
that "active intellect" which alone is separable, imperishable, 
and divine. Here we reach the well-head of science"" viewed, 

'^' **t9rt^rtifin rmf a/urti ttta^titMrtf." Eth. Nic. vi. 6. Anal. Post. L 3. 2. 
Hetaph. x. 7. 10. 

><' Meteph. i. 9. 34. Anal. Post. ii. 19. 
'4' De Anim. iii. 4. Metaph. zii. 10. 8. 
•" Anal. Pr. ii. 21. 
^« Phyi. viL. 8. 

3i cvr«y <r«ri ^c/v«r«i ftn. De Anim. iii. 4. 3 and 7. 

'^' Comp. Metaph. zi. 9. 5. 

"' De Anim. iii. 5. 

'» " iu^mSti' — " Mint y*^ 9m$ watra r§ n k/Mv Oi^t/* Eth. Eud. vii, 14. De 
Gen. An. iL 3. 10. Comp. Cic. Acad. Qu. i. 8. Besembling an emanation from 
the sphere of the ''moving moved/' the aethereal or fifth element Met. xL 2. 4. 
Diog. L. T. 82. 

•*o "»,«>« i^tfrnfAm etiX"-' Anal. Post. ii. 19. 7. in^yit h «;t<*t. Met. 
xi. 7, 8. 


aoGording to the tendencies of the Socratio method, as an inter- 
nal revelation, an emanation fix>m the oracles of mind, not so 
mnoh a piogresaiTe conquest as a habitual self-realised posses- 
sion, tranqml like the supreme tranquillity it contemplates "\ 
To Aristotle, as to Plato, science was in' generalisation; neither 
of them, however, could satisfactorily generalise the world 
without taking a hcus standi beyond it. Science reigns 
supreme in the region of abstraction, where in proportion to the 
absence of reality demonstration becomes absolute and con- 
clusive. All reasoning depends on propositions; all propo- 
sitions on a thesis of their terms. The terms are suggestions 
of experience. The energies of the discursive reason inversely 
corresponding to nature's movements embrace only the medial 
world of phenomena. Here both things and the notions of 
them are complex, susceptible of subdivision and definition. 
Nothing is definable which does not belong to those deter- 
minable media, having both genus and difference; essence is 
beyond definition; the highest genus and the last individuality 
alike escape its power. The last essence of a thing is not the 
abstract notion of it, nor the compound of elements or ideas; it 
is the individuality constituted by act, and act is reached only 
by intuition^^^. Intuition is the beginning and end of 
science; on one side the intuition of the senses gleaning dim 
perceptions of being amidst the complicity of the concrete ^^'; 
on the other that in which the pure energy of intellect en- 
counters in itself the principle and form of being, the absolute 
individuality, the instrument and object of cognition. The 
invisible thread by which Aristotle's world was suspended over 
ideaUsm is here broken; the conception of a bM vanishes; in 
the sphere of intellect alone is discovered the reconciliation of 
science with substance, of the universal and the individual; 

>*> Hence the wiie man iE aa it were the law and measure of truth. Bth. Nic. 
iii. 4 ; vi. 9 ; x. 7. Sth. Eud. vii. 15. 

»« Met. vi. 10. 17. '« Met vi. 4. 8. 


natuie is explained on the principle of ignotam per ignotias, 
and like the talisman of Oromasdes in the Persian tale, the 
problem of metaphysics is referred to the extreme limit where 
infinity and nnity, existence and thought, blend unconditionally 
in God. 


"PbilomphuB objectmn triplex. Dens, Natony homo; et triplex itidem ladins 
remm ; Natum enim percutit inteUectum ladio directo ; Dens autem propter medium 
insqnale (creaturafl Kilicet) radio refracto ; homo yero libi ipd moiiBtiatiu et exhi- 
bitniy radio reflexo." — Baoov, di Auomeitt. Soibht. bk. 8, ch. 1. 

" I do remember well the hour which bunt 
My ipirit*! sleep" Shillkt. 




"Whence, and who am I?" are the first questions supposed 
to occur to Brahm&, in Hindoo theology at once the Creator 
and the created, when he awakens to conscious being amidst 
the expanse of waters \ In truth, however, the great problem 
of human nature presents itself to the mind only in the pro- 
gress of its more advanced development. Mental self-con- 
sciousness is the gradual result of a long course of objective 
thought. Milton more naturally makes Adam first '' turn his 
wondering eyes to Heaven" and to the smiling scenes of earth, 
in whose fragrance and joy his heart for a while contentedly 
reposes', until he slowly reverts to the "perusal of himself," 
and to the question, " How came I thus, how here ?" Man 
learns to feel before he reasons; he enjoys the world as a pic- 
ture instead of questioning it as a problem; and of all pro- 
blems, that which Socrates justly deemed the most important 
of any, is usually the last which engages his attention. To 
his earUest perceptions nature is as part of himself; as a parent 
from whose universal Ufe his own being is scarcely as yet 
severed and individualised, and probably he might never have 
been led to ask the reason or object of his existence if all the 
tendencies of his nature had been continuously and completely 
satisfied. Beason is aroused to the necessity of self-examina- 

' Greuz. S. i. 404. * Par. Lost, viii. 267. 


tion only when man has become in some degree estranged 
from nature; when he has been disappointed and thwarted, 
when his preferences have been misplaced and his means mis- 
calculated, when he has become familiar with pain and want, 
limitation and " evil." 

So long as man was a mere creature of instinct, if such 
a state may for illustration's sake be assumed, in which he 
moved in unconscious sympathy with Nature's order, there 
could be no distinction of good or evil, neither morality nor 
inteUigence; and in proportion to the completeness of this 
hypothetical dependence would be his exemption from care 
and responsibility. Freedom and responsibility are inseparably 
connected with the exercise of thought. Man assumes his 
proper rank as a moral agent when, with a sense of the limita- 
tions of his nature arises the consciousness of freedom and of 
the obligations accompanying its exercise ; the sense of duty, 
and the capacity of experience. But the rule of duty and the 
materials of experience must be derived from an acquaintance 
with the conditions of the external world in which the faculties 
are exerted. Thus does the problem of man involve that of 
Nature and of God. Our freedom is determined by an agency 
external to us ; our happiness is intimately dependent on the 
relations of the outward world, and on the moral character of 
its ruler. 

The God of Nature has been shown to be one, and his cha- 
racter had never been suspected as other than good. Whence 
then came the evil, the consciousness of which seems invariably 
to have preceded or accompanied man's moral development? 
Upon this subject human opinion seems to have ebbed and 
flowed between two contradictory extremes, of which the one is 
inconsistent with God's omnipotence, the other with his bene- 
ficence. If God, it was said, is perfectly wise and good, evil 
must arise from some independent and hostile principle; if, on 
the other hand, all agencies are subordinate to one, it is 
difficult, if evil does indeed exist, to avoid the impiety of 
making the Almighty the author of it 


The recognition of a moral and physical dualism in Natare 
was adverse to monotheism. Many of the ancients thought it 
ahsurd to imagine one supreme being, like Homer's Jove, dis- 
tributing good and evil out of two urns"; they, therefore, sub- 
stituted the doctrine of two distinct and eternal principles; 
some making the cause of evil to be the inherent imperfection 
of matter and the flesh ; while others personified the required 
agency, and fancifully invented a daemon^, the question of 
whose origin, indeed involved all the di£Eiculty of the original 
problem, but whose existence, if once taken for granted, was 
sufficient as a popular solution of the mystery^. 

The simpler, and probably older notion, treated the one only 
Grod as author of all things. '* I form the light," says Jeho- 
vah, '* and create darkness; I cause prosperity and create evil ; 
I, the Lord, do all these things."' *'A11 mankind," says 
Maximus Tyrius^, " are agreed that there exists one only uni- 
versal King and Father, and that the many gods are his chil- 
dren." There is nothing improbable in the supposition of a 
primitive monotheism ; a vague sense of Nature's unity blended 
with a dim perception of an all-pervading spiritual essence has 
been remarked among the earliest manifestations of the human 
mind". The first conceptions of Deity borrowed their moral 

' Platarcb, Isis and Onris, ch. 45. 

* Diog. Laert Pro€m. 8. 

' Plato, Laws, z. 896. 906. There were several opinions among the Jews as 
to the origin of Devils. One that they were the progeny of the sons of GK)d by the 
daughters of men; another that they were angels, who fell through envy of man- 
kind ; a third, that matter and the flesh is the tool of Satan, forming an independent 
kingdom over which he roles, and constitutmg his title to be called "the Prince" 
and "the Qod of this World." (2 Corinth, iv. 4. John zii. 81. Ephes. vi. 12. 
ICatthewiv. 9; zii. 26. 

* Isaiah zlv. 7.. Job ii. 10. Amos v. 8. Hicah i. 12. Pind. Fng. Inoert. 98. 

ytynrai »f$^»nrus tvr* »yfj •vr% tuMo. 
•tHut »94(t0Wt/9 •inr •Xfifi, •vri 9*fiX(*fp 

Theognis. v. 166. Oomp. Plato, Rep. iL 879. 
^ zvii. 5. ' Humboldt, Cosmos, p. 15. 

VOL. I. C C 


as their metaphysical form from an earthly pattern ; men made 
their god a copy of themselves, and invested him with the 
monocratic s^ray immemorial in the East. But this oriental 
oneness of authority €U3 opposed to the "woxw«oipay<ii"* which 
in human government Homer stigmatises as improper, does 
not imply the monotheism of philosophy. The idea of Deity 
when exalted hy philosophy hecomes proportionately vague 
and evanescent ; in order to he popular it must condescend to 
the mean and childish conceptions of rude men. The popular 
god is not the God of the Universe, hut of a peculiar and 
favoured race with whom he holds familiar intercourse, appear- 
ing personally among them to listen, to act, or to command, 
and " walking in the garden in the cool of the day.'* Gods 
and men are of kindred origin^*; hoth are alike children of 
Earth, or of an earlier Titanic race; and Japetus, ancestor 
of mankind, is brother of Cronus", father of Gods. When 
Zeus first established his empire he found man already in 
existence, and in a state which it required some skill to reduce 
to due submission ; for in the golden age, when beasts spoke 
with human voices, men and gods had been companions and 
friends^'. The gods of early poetry take the form and charac- 
ter of men; and the epithet of godlike which Plato spiri- 
tualises**, is to be literally understood of Homers heroes in 
the humbler sense of physical resemblance *\ The Olympian 
gods are undistinguished in moral character from mortals. 
They deceive both men and each other; surpassing men in 
strength they exceed them also in craft and crime. While 
beings of so questionable a nature were esteemed divine, it was 
unnecessary to devise a distinct principle of evil. The stem and 
revengeful Deity of the Old Testament who commissions evil 
and lying spirits to men, and who is acknowledged author 

• Mwtery of many. 'o Hesiod, Works, 108. 

" Horn. Hymn, ApoU. 157. Find. Nem. 6. Lucret ii. 990. Plato, Protag. 
sec. 80, p. 820. Schomans Prom. p. 111. 
" Babrii Fabnlse, Proem. 
»» De Repub. ▼!. 470. 


of evil as well as good^*, is in many respects similar to the 
arbitrary monarch of Olympus, guarded by the children of 
Styx, Force, and Jealousy '^ and parent of Ate, the genius 
of infatuation and its direM results ^^. The Hebrew god 
awards his favour with an apparently unaccountable partiality; 
he accepts Abel, but rejects Cain ; he loves Jacob, but hates 
Esau ; he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy ; but, 
on the other hand, he hardens Pharaoh s heart, and visits the 
iniquity of the parent on the child, of the individual sinner on 
the whole people. In estimating the enigmatical character of 
a Nature god, curses are more impressive than blessings ; men 
fear before they learn to love, and fear is the parent of cruelty 
and superstition. The early Hebrew God is ''a consuming 
fire;"^* his apparition is disastrous, no one can see him and 
live^*; even his ark scatters destruction on friend and foe; he 
sends his angel, lest himself should break out upon the people 
and consume them'°. This rude conception of sternness pre- 
dominating over mercy can alone account for the immolations 
purposed, if not executed, by Jephthah and by Abraham. In 
short, men recognise the existence of God long before they 
form any becoming estimate of his moral dignity. The causes 
of both good and ill are referred to a mysterious centre whose 
attributes they judge only by the rude standard of savage life. 
A deity partaking human passions was supposed to resent any 
presumptuous advances on the part of man, any invasion of 
his own prerogatives. Hence the notion common in antiquity 
of the divine "envy,"** as instanced in the fall of Capaneus 
and Salmoneus ; in the provocation given by the healing skill 
of Esculapius, and the humane theft of Prometheus '*'. The 
very spirit of Nature personified in Orpheus, Tantalus or 

" Job u. 10. Diad, xziy. 525. Amos, ui. 6. » Hei. Tli«og. 884. 

>7 Iliad, ix. 511, and xiz. 91. 126. 

» Bzod. zziT. 17. Dent. !▼. 24. 88 ; y. 5 ; be. 8. Hebr. xii. 29. 

» Bxod. zix. 21. 24; zz. 19; zzir. 11. \ 

** Ezod. zzzii. 84 ; zzziii 5. Comp. Sxek. zz. 25. \ 

» Bzod. zzzir. 14. 

** Probabl/ kindred or identical beings. Pans. z. 4. 8. 

C C 2 


Phineus'*, was supposed to have been killed, confined, or 
blinded for having too freely divulged the divine mysteries 
to mankind. This divine envy, an idea still existing under a 
modified form*^, varies according to circumstances. In poeti- 
cal legend, as in Hesiod, it appears in the lowest type of 
human malignity. In the God of Moses, it is jealousy of the 
infringement of autocratic power, the check to political treason. 
In Herodotus and other writers it assumes a more philosophical 
shape, as a strict adherence to a moral equilibrium in the 
government of the world. The Deity, says Artabanus to 
Xerxes'*, permits no one to be proudly lifted up (/t*£ya 
^^ovBsiv) except himself; he loves to cut down all that exalts 
itself on high ; he is the severe punisher of insolent preten- 
sions**. Excessive prosperity is said to be dangerous and 
deceitftd; wealth produces arrogance (v^f^), and vpptf am 
(ruin)". Moderately good fortune, therefore", is safest and 
best**. So common was the notion, that ^9ovog became a 
general term for blame, merited as well as unmerited, and par- 
ticularly for the divine ve/Aea-is or retribution. Thus Gamil- 
lus*® prays to heaven that if the general prosperity should 
appear excessive to God or man, that " cause of envy" might 
be expiated by his own private loss rather than by any public 

» Paiuan. ix. 80. Pindar, Oly. i. 98. 

^ As when we speak of an " infliction of Divine Prondence ;" or ny that ** Pro- 
vidence has been pleased to yisit us," &c 

» Herod. YiL 46. 

« ^schyL PerssB, 818. 824. 779. 

^ Solonis Frag. ▼. 75. 

*■ m^tnt fX/Sff. AschyL Agam. 456, BL 

" " wafTi fuTf M^mrH /««f tnrtt^f.** JBschyl. Earn. 475, Bot. Comp. Plutarch, 
Tit. Solon. 85'. Sympos. ii. 10. 648. Wessel. to Heiod. i 82. Yakkn. to the 
nme, iiL 40. Olearius to Philostr. Yit. Soph. 575'. 

» LiTy, T. 21. 

** Comp. Liyy, x. 18. One of the most curious instances of the kind is that in 
the story of Polycrates (Herod. iiL 89), and the apprehension expressed by Aga- 
memnon in iEschylus of the overstrained courtesies of ClytSBsmestra. Agam. 897, Bl. 


§ 2. 


Yet it should not be imagined that in any of these instances 
evil was knowingly charged upon the Deity. Evil ascribed to 
God is not understood as evil, or rather is so called not as being 
in itself unbecoming or unjust, but merely because felt by man 
to be painful or inconvenient. Men are rarely shocked at 
witnessing in others what is usual among themselves. The 
immorality of the heathen gods may be partly explained on the 
same principle as that of MachiaveUi's '* Prince;" dissimulation 
cast no slur on the character of Solon, or the elder Brutus, and 
the primitive Greek, with whom piracy was honourable, would 
not be scandalised at the knavery of the gods. The same im- 
perfect sense of moral obligation which thoughtlessly ascribed 
unbecoming attributes to the gods may account for the supposed 
felicity of man in that rude age celebrated by poets as para- 
disiacal, but which was more correctly described by philosophers 
as one of ignorant and miserable barbarism'. The contradic- 
tion is only apparent, for the poetical truth of the golden age is 
not inconsistent with a state of real degradation. The golden 
age is the fairer half of a complex conception; the retrospect of 
uncivilised life appears to the refined speculator under a doubt- 
ful or twofold aspect; the Satumian times may have been an 
age of golden simplicity, or a reign of terror and of Moloch; 
and while the primsBval ''friends and neighbours" of the gods 
considered as exempt firom the vices of civilization might be as 
blameless Fheeacians, their destitution and ignorance of its aids 
and graces would convert them into Cyclops or Giants'. The 
intellectual retrospect is as equivocal as the moral; for as a 
child may now mechanically become acquainted with things 

1 JEflchyl. Prom. 435. StobsB. Eclog. Phys. i. 8. 38, pw 240. Heer. Diod. & 1. 8. 
Plato, Protag. 321 ^ 
» Odyw, vii. 205. 


unknown to Plato or Newton, bo the men of the olden time 
were both our masters and our inferiors; they might be higher 
in powers, but they were inferior in attainments. To the im- 
aginations of the Greeks the wild inhabitants of S^ythia 
appeared in this ambiguous light; and though tradition seems 
to indicate the real existence of certain Scythian tribes like the 
Abii, "justest of men,"* who, like the Mandans of America, 
were comparatively civilised, yet Strabo prefers to account for 
the panegyric of Homer upon the general ground of the rude 
simplicity of savages and their exemption from the vices as 
well as the advantages of refinement. Many of the evils 
attendant on an advanced state of society have in reality no 
existence at its commencement; the infancy of the human race 
resembles that of the individual, and knows no evil because 
incapable of discernment^. The men of the golden age lived 
on the spontaneous fruits of the earth untroubled with thought^; 
and the silver age continued to maintain the privileges of the 
golden only during its long childhood of a hundred years*. 
Conscience uneducated can scarcely be said to exist; remorse 
implies knowledge, and assuming the existence of a time when 
human action was determined solely by pleasurable or painful 
emotion, the time might be called golden, since the evil which 
existed was unfelt. Vice has been said to lose a great part of 
its evil with its grossness; and the coarse freedom of language 
inherited from unsophisticated antiquity so often met with in 
Aristophanes and other Greek writers^, proves not so much the 
corruption of manners as the continued absence of that con- 
ventional refinement which would have made the indelicacy 
apparent and offensive*. Even the atrocities of savages lose 

' Iliad, T. 6. Strabo, vii. 800. Cortius, vii. 6. Ammianus HarceL 23. 25. 
Steph. Byz. art. Abii. Bitter, Yorhalle, p. 263, *\ 

* The Bible describes children as those who "discern not between good and 
evil," or who "discern not the right hand from the left." 

^ '*»Mfiitm iu/uf i^«vTis" Hes. Works, 112. 

* "AMy« furw," or "big children," v. 131, ib. 

7 Iliad, iii. 441. Soph. Antig. 567. Bar. Med. 679. 

* Comp. Thucyd. i. 6. 


their enormity because perpetrated unconsciously*. To a 
savage an act of homicide may be less morally corrupting than 
deliberate crimes of a milder stamp in civilised society. And 
not only moral, but many physical evils may be said to be 
virtually non-existent where they are unsuspected and unfelt. 

" Poor and content, is rich, and rich enough" — 

Insensibility to pain may be said to destroy the reality of a 
bruise, and the beast of the forest is as exempt from poverty as 
from sickness. The starving Lydians indemnified themselves 
for the want of food by diverting games'®, and the Cynic 
or Gymnosophist was in reality as happy as Aristippus or 

While evil was as yet unfelt it was unnecessary to devise any 
supernatural cause for it, nor was there any impiety in ascribing 
all things without exception to God. The gods of primitive 
humanity were feared rather than loved, yet they were in their 
way emphatically *'}(WT>i(>ff sacjv" — "givers of good things;"** 
they were heaven and earth, those divine parents who with 
lavish abundance nourished their guileless children, unsuspected 
of acts really inconsistent with beneficence. It was therefore 
scarcely by a poetical fiction that a wiser but less blessed age 
attributed to the children and friends of heaven those golden 
privileges of which they fancied themselves possessed. But in 
the interval which elapsed between the age of bliss and its 
poetical celebration, a great change had taken place; there had 
been a **Fall," or revolution of the soul; all nature seemed to 
have degenerated in sympathy with the mental crisis; heaven 
appeared to be removed to an incalculable distance, and earth, 
once so liberal to the savage, was on a sudden grown sullen 

' Gomp. St. Paul's arguments respecting the connection of sin with the law. 
Bom. iii. 20 ; Tii. 7. 1 Gor. zy. 56. 

>o Herod, i. 94. 

11 '< A good excuse,** says Caleb, in the Bride of Lammermuir, "is better than 
the things themselves ; for these maun be consumed by time, whereas a good come 
off providently and creditably hoarded may serve a nobleman and his fiimily heaven 
knows how long." 

'^ Hesiod, Th. 46. 111. Lucian, Prometheus, 18, vol. i. p. 201. 


and parsimonious^ overgrown with weeds and briars, and cursed 
with sterility. All things remained the same, yet all things 
were changed. An indescribable sadness 

" Deepened the miinnur of the fiiUing floods," 

and the disappointment was as when scenes admired in infancy 
are revisited in after life. In both cases the change is not iu 
nature, but in ourselves; it is the dawn of the power of reflec- 
tion and comparison. Men are become not worse, but wiser : 
their nature has been exalted; they are raised into superior 
beings, called by oriental exaggeration "gods, knowing good 
from evil." A ffflP*^ ^f rivil implioe an npprnnintinn nf gtan j_ a 
jail the possibility of elevat ion. Motives now begin to be 

wfl^^liflH iinik rpanUia /*ft1/>nT^f^H^Tv, q\}*gt wf)f(jf |, aotio n^ haS 
ceased to be ^lltQIP fttr>na^ anA haa liaftn in Q/^mfl j^f^ffl^^ ftii^JAfitftfl 

to t he power of thought. Thought suggests deficiencies and 
wimts both physical and^ intellectual, and language which 
expresses the present impressions of the mind rather than the 
realities of nature represents these wants as losses, the kindling 
of ambition as the restlessness of discontent. And as we con- 
tinue to say the sun rises and sets, these earliest impressions of 
the senses having become irrevocably fixed in language, so we 
continue to talk of the ''fall of man," although the very appre- 
hension of a fall is in itself intrinsic evidence of intellectual 
advancement". Themistocles fell, in his own esteem, when 
he heard of the triumphs of Miltiades; the depth of his despon- 
dency was but a pledge of the loftiness of his pretensions. 
"Our sorrow is the inverted image of our nobleness; the depth 

^f nnir i^nnpnir masisinr^ ^hfl ^ei ght and CapabUi tV^ OUT 

hopes."" The sunny and thoughtless phde of Grecian intel- 
lect was not perhaps so morally grand as the dejection of 
oriental asceticism. " We grant that human life is mean, but 

» The "FaU" is the conacience-strack remonefdl ■elf-accQsation of hnman 
nature, in itself implying no more moral evil than pain, or the external symptom of 
an e£Ebrt to regain health, is to be identified with physical evil. Brery reform is a 
** Fall,** inasmuch as it is the acknowledgment of error, but it is neyer called so 
except where despondency prevails over the hope of improvement 

" Carlyle. 



how did we find out that it is mean; whence this uneasiness of 
ours, this old discontent?"" Why measuring his actual 
position by the standard of the fancy and senses does man 
still imagine himself a fallen being, notwithstanding those 
advantages which even by church authority" have been pro- 
nounced to be more than an indemnity for the loss of Eden, 
and which by ennobling his reason have exalted him almost to 
a god ? ^^ The fall is the first painful impression of light and 
knowledge upon man, ''the child born at midnight," ignorant 
alike of yesterday and to-morrow". To be bom is said to be 
more painful than to die, and still greater perhaps is the pang 
of spiritual regeneration. If the "fear of the Lord" be the 
beginning of wisdom", it is equally true conversely that the 
beginnings of knowledge are full of ])erplexitv and anxiety 


<f^i^A ;» A^^y^j.::;^ 


melancholv. because ^* \f^ |;^p<^/iQTiiy ani\ pninfiiny ^ 
both of i\ (\ ppwflr fljif^ jj^ ^ ^akness. Men wake like the pedlar 
in the tale from visionary splendour to the plain prose of life; 
the loss of ignorance is accompanied by the Ipss of a portion of 
content and self-respect; or, as it is more beautifully expressed 
in Genesis, "they know that they are naked." The individual 
may be said to fall, nay, but for some counteracting influence, 
to fall more and more, in proportion as he becomes more able 
to contemplate the universal; to feel his comparative condition, 
how weak in reference to infinite strength, how imperfect in 
reference to infinite good, "^f^g^ji ro"^ii pot go on in its 
drrrlnTiTnriTit iintiil thn frirljngg ^^ impprfftntinn and want had 
given motives for exerti on. But in the first crisis of enlighten- 
ment, the painful senseoF want or inferiority which is identical 
with "the Fall" was distinct and complete; while the long 

1* Emerson. 

" See Shnttleworth on the "Analogy of Beligion." 

" Genesis iii. 22. 

'* Melanges Asiatiqnes, by Abel-£emusat, vol. 1. 

» Prov. L 7. Ecclu*. I 14.20. 

» EcduB. iv. 17. 


progress of redemption and civilization, which, could it have 
heen foreseen, might have supplied a different name to the 
whole of the phenomena, could then only for the first time 
commence its operations. Vainly would we accuse the parents 
of mankind, or deplore the hard penalty entailed hy their 
thoughtlessness on after generations. Every individ^pl paaaeg 
through a jtarjtdiia o£ bii own».mid. JPL h?ft t"^ ^^»tf{fl ftf *^^ ^^ 

of knowie(^ yft, ft f^riaia wliicli Tin oTifl ntm n|ftflt wit.hnnt. ftn^iftty 

a nd whose ^p roa ^g h nfl,gt ft iPhft4 p ^f awe over even the ^ovon a 
hrow of Undine ' ^ Even though it were impossible to fix in 
recollection any definite moment when man can be said for the 
first time to feel and to reflect, the Fall would be no less a 
psychological reaUty. There is always a season of seriousness 
and disquietude, when the problem of human destiny forces 
itself more or less suddenly into notice, and together with it, 
rmless the tranquillising opiate of religions has succeeded in 
wholly stupefying the intellect, an anxiety as to the tendencies 
of Nature and of Providence. Providence had been assumed 
to be beneficent and good, as infancy had been innocent and 
happy; man must therefore have been created perfect, and his 
new disquietude naturally received the denomination of *' a 
Fall." But Providence, hitherto unsuspected, now began to 
assume an ambiguous aspect, and nature a disguise of harsh- 
ness and deformity. Their meaning and purposes were im- 
perfectly understood; the formation of a rational faith was a 
task yet to be commenced; want has been felt, but there had 
been no sufficient experience of its civilizing power; and im- 
patient and perplexed at the outset of his arduous career, man 
turned dejectedly from the almost hopeless problem, hastily 
concluding that all is vanity; that he disquieteth himself in 
vain; that he is the plaything of the Almighty, who capriciously 
governs, or even forsakes the world"; "Why," exclaims Job, 

» " Nar der Irrthum ist das leben, 
Und daa Wissen ist der Tod." 
^ Plato, Laws, i. 644; vii. 808. Politicus, 269. Creuzer, Symb. i. 399. 
v. Bohlen, Ind. i. 160. 


''died I not from the womb; why is light given to him that is in 
misery, to man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged 

§ 3. 


The Story of "the Fall" poetically represents a philosophical 
truth. The imagination requires a fixed period of time for the 
commencement of man's moral state as for that of his physical 
existence; and the light of experience has its peculiar optical 
delusions, creating a day of universal judgment among the 
phantasms of the future, and a "fall" as the moral terminus of 
the unknown past. The Hebrew annals are contrived to show 
the history of human nature according to the perspective of a 
comparatively modem age of literature; increasing in distinct- 
ness, circumstantiality, and probability of detail as they approach 
the period from which the events may be supposed to have been 
contemplated*. So in the Hindoo mythical series of four ages, 
one of those widely spread legends which are too peculiar to be 
entirely independent, yet too varied to have been directly 
borrowed by one nation from another', the last, or actual age, 
(Cali-Yug) is the point of departure in the ideal calculation. 
The estimate of degeneracy is from below upwards. The third 
age in order of time is called the second (Duapara Yug), and 
the second, the third (Treta Yug) '. The duration of human 

** Job iii. 11. 20. 28. It were better, says Tbeognis (y. 425), for man not to 
bave been born at all, or, if bom, tbe next best altematiye is to go as soon as 
possible to the gates of Hades. Cic. Tusc. Qu. i. 47, 48. Pint. Consol. ad Apol- 
Ion. 27. Zeus himself, in the Iliad, pronounces man to be the most wretched of all 
creatures on the face of the earth, xvii. 446. JEschyl. Agam. 1218, Bothe. 

* Thus beginning with the Uniyerse, the record first confines itself to the posterity 
of Seth, and narrowing as it descends, successiyely to that of Noah, of Shem, and of 
Abraham, until finally limited to the annals of the Hebrews, it begins to narrate in 
fall detail the history of Jacob. 

' Lassen, Ind. A. 529. Bohlen, Ind. i. 140. 

^ Ewald, Qeschichte, 807". 


life assumed as 100 years in round numbers for the actual age, 
multiplied by four, gives the 400 years of Menu* for the first, 
or Crita-Yug*. The unknown intervals of antiquity were thus 
filled up with imagery suggested by the present. Every 
successive acquisition accumulated by human effort during the 
course of ages, was thrown back to an imaginary epoch, and 
made to contribute to the glowing picture of an age of innocence. 
Man was then not only morally better but intellectually wiser •; 
he was godlike in act and in discernment^ ; his ancient and 
proverbial communion with the heavenly* implied both a moral 
similitude, and a mental or religious inspiration. Yet the real 
age of innocence was one with that of fiction ; men seemed to 
know more when they believed more, as to be good when they 
knew not evil. The feeling of diffidence and imperfection con- 
stituting "the Fall" found the standard of comparison really 
supplied by his hopes reflected in his imaginary recollections, 
and the wants of immediate experience suggested the fanciful 
materials of an age of happiness past and to come. The 
theoretic happiness consisted in the enjoyment of all the good 
desiderated, and in an exemption from all the evils felt in the 
actualities of the present. The dry sands of Syria or of Attica 
were then abundantly watered*; the peacefully disposed enjoyed 
wealth in tranquillity", and warlike tribes looked back to 
ancestors possessed of greater longevity and more formidable 
strength". But the aspect of antiquity is double and equivocal; 
though less corrupt and artificial, it is more rugged and fero- 
cious. The luxurious ease of the Pheeacians represents the milder 
and more attractive side of the old Achaean life; and an inti- 
mation of their moral as well as physical proximity to gods may 

* i. 83. 

* See calculations of the mundane year, Yoss. to Yirg. Eclog. iy. 5. 7. 

* Plato, Phileb. 16. 

^ Cicero, Tusc. ix. 1. 12. Senec. Epist. xc. 44. 

* ifA^vr»s a^-^euei ir^tg ov^f$f xufatnai. Clem. Alex. Protrep. 21. Cic. de Leg 
ii. 11. 27. 

» Plato, Critiae, p. 111. '« iElian, V. H. iii. 18. 

" Iliad, i. 262. 


perhaps be comprehended in the words of the disguised Athene, 
when she says" that the house of Alcinous, "radiant like the 
sun or moon"", stood near her own fathers. On the other 
hand the Giants, Cyclopes, Phlegyans, were fierce and insolent**, 
careless of the gods and ultimately destroyed by them. These 
two apparently inconsistent aspects of antiquity were concep- 
tionally divided, and distinguished to the mind in mythus by 
being placed apart in two imaginary periods of time, an age of 
gold and an age of brass; the transition from one to the other 
being either through the sudden operation of a Fall, or through 
the progressive degeneracy of ages, during which the virtues as 
well as acquisitions of the good Autochthones were forgotten". 
The rude aboriginal savages, poetically called "earthbom" 
giants, were in this view only a remnant of a more illustrious 
race of whom they had preserved but a dim reminiscence ; they 
were in reality the brazen age", destroyed either by their own 
internal feuds, like the Sparti of Cadmus, or by the flood of 
Deucalion. Upon their destruction would naturally have com- 
menced the actual race; but Hesiod, in deference to popular 
traditions and genealogies, is obliged to introduce here the 
heroic age as a sort of repetition of the golden, serving at once 
to give the existing race a more dignified origin, and to satisfy 
in every minute detail the popular presumption of human 
degeneracy. The simple theoretical subdivision of past and 
present would have been satisfied with an age of gold and an 
age of iron; the latter beginning with the still existing descend- 
ants of Deucalion and Pyrrha, the former comprising every 
type of former excellence according to the cotemporary standard 
of perfection. But the standard which the poet had to satisfy 
by corresponding imagery, evidently consisted of two distinct 
classes of ideas; the notion of primaeval innocence, of idle in- 

" Odyse. vii. 29. »» t. 85. 

^* MTi^^MVM and v/3(<rr«i. Hymn, ApoUo. 278. Odysa. vii 59. Comp. Schol. 
ApoUon. W. 992. 

1* Plato, Oritiiia, 109. Timsms, 23. 

'* ;^«X»iMv TfMf r»vt ytyarrmt X%yu.** Schol. Heaiod, Works, 442. 


dolgence^ and the inconBistent and dissiimlar one of the prowess 
of the heroes of song. The latter could not have heen the 
peaeefdl men of the age of gold, neither could they he the 
hrazen race whose daring was barharous or unpious. The 
latter might indeed correspond with the unfavourable aspect of 
antiquity supposed to be represented in the giants*^; but a 
difficulty was felt because the romantic and patriotic associa-. 
tions handed down by song demanded for those chivalrous and 
almost historical personages who fell at Thebes or Troy", a 
mythological place immediately preceding the present. Thus 
the golden age was twice repeated, first as a state of peace, and 
again as a state of war; but however numerous the links of 
intermediate connection, the glories of the past, whether simul- 
taneous or successive, were at an end when the evils of imme- 
diate experience began. The appearance of the all- accom- 
plished Pandora, and the sacrifice of Prometheus, seemed to 
herald the conmiencement of human evils and the end of the 
golden age, because luxury and a settled form of religious 
worship appeared to have been coincident with the rise of 
knowledge and the close of the period of innocence. In the 
same way, the three sons of Lamech, Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal 
denote the concurrent epoch of the invention of arts and the 
advance of corruption ". But misfortune is never without hope, 
which was therefore significantly left within Pandora's vessel of 
evils ^\ The consciousness of undeveloped capabilities is 
inseparable from an impression of degeneracy; and if the 
aspect of an angry Deity is seen in the sombre hues of the 

" The Giants, aays YSlcker, were not the bnvwn age, became they died without 
a name; " pttfv/ut** (Japetni, p. 271), but this nameleeaneaa may have been meant 
comparatiTely with the two former ages whose population had been honoured with a 
sort of deification after death ; though of course it is not to be presumed that two 
mythical creations such as those in question, however near, should exactly coincide. 

»• Hes. Works, 168. 

>* Comp. Genesis ir. 22 with y. 29; vi. 12. Ewald, Geschichte, 815. 822. The 
subversion of the empire of Uranus by the sickle of Cronus is similariy marked by 
the cotemporary invention of iron attributed to the Idsei Dactyli. Heaiod, Theog. 
161. SchoL ApoUon. Bhod. i. 1129. Stiabo, z. 472; ziv. 654. 

^ Hes. Op. 96. 


declining year, more consolatory views of Providence are sug- 
gested by the prospect of its renewal. Noah, or "new com- 
mencement "'S also a son of Lamech, steps forth from the ark 
at the commencement of a new year to be the ** comfort"** of a 
desolated world. The object of the traditional flood seemed to 
have been to wash out the foul blots of moral corruption''; 
after that Augean cleansing or baptismal regeneration'^, an 
age of righteousness and peace heralded by the dove would 


§ 4. 


The moral impressions of ancient Nature religion were in 
correspondence with physical ones. The ideas of the end as of 
the commencement of all things was taken from the phenomena 
of the year, the renewal of nature after the winter rains, or 
scorching heats*; sorrow and joy followed close upon each 
other as sunshine to showers, and on the very day of the 
Egyptian mourning for Osiris, the daughter of Mycerinus was 
brought forth to enjoy her annual revelation of life and light*. 
Men have always felt their condition to be greatly inferior to 

'* Genes. ▼. 29. Ewald, Geschichte, i. p. 818. He xb probably not unconnected 
with Henoch, Janus, or Oannes. Comp. Bwald, ib. 314. Crenzer, Symbol. L 59. 

" Gen. T. 29. 

" 2 Peter ii. 6. Matt. xxiv. 37. 

** 1 Corin. x. 1, 2. Rev. xxi. 1. 

^ Noah may be the Hebrew Inachus. His wife is the womb of the ark, bring- 
ing forth all creatures. He is the fiither of three sons corresponding with the three 
seasons, and, as in the Zoroastrian Creation, days are expanded to thousands of 
years, in the mythus of Noah they are centuries ; he enters the ark in his six hun- 
dredth year (Gknes. yii. 11), and lires after quitting it a number of years correspond- 
ing with the lunar year. (Gknes. ix. 28.) At the completion of the lunar year he 
begins to expect to see the earth dried, but is obliged to renuun within the ark 
until the conclusion of the solar. (Ideler Lehrbuch, p. 198.) 

^ The general conflagration, or general deluge. 

' Herod, ii. 132. Comp. Isis and Osiris, ch. 89. 


what it might be; they see in the present only a striking con- 
trast to the perfection which the fancy suggests as possible. 
Hence the prospective renewal of original innocence and bliss. 
Man has ever imagined himself in an unhappy medium between 
two happy periods, a past and a future paradise. Hesiod 
exclaims, " would that I had never been bom among the people 
of the fifth race, but that I had either died earlier, or lived 
later."' He expresses the universal hope of mankind, the 
belief in a great future restoration of all things, the " ultima 
ffitas CumsBi carminis"^ described by Virgil. But it was 
necessary that a place as well as time should be assigned to 
this conceptional feUcity, and the locality when discovered was 
of course found to be remote, for it was as impossible that a 
state of things so surpassing all ordinary experience should 
exist among familiar realities, as that Candide's Eldorado 
should turn up in homely Westphalia. Homer's Elysium, an 
idea supposed to have received its form from exaggerated 
reports of navigators*, is at the extremities of the earth*; the 
justice and piety so rarely seen among the familiar haunts of 
men were still supposed to survive among the Issedones^, or 
the Hyperboreans, unvisited and inaccessible to mortal foot- 
steps;"' they had fled to the distant Indians*, to the " blame- 
less" iSthiopians^^ or to the imaginary population of Atlantis ''. 
When a matter-of-fact age wished to fix this fabled realm to 
some certain locality, its site, Uke the labours of Hercules, or 
the voyage of Argo, became more and more remote in propor- 

* Works, 175. « Virg. Bclog. 4. 

* Strabo, i. % 8. Herod, i. 168. According to Jiudn (ad Qraec. 27), Homer in 
his description of the gardens of Alcinous imitated Moses. Od. vii. 114. 

* " ^ufmrm ymmt" Odyss. iy. 568. 
' Herod, ir. 26. 

* Find. Pyth. x. 48. -ffilian, V. H. iii. 18. 221. 

* Baehr^s Ctesias, Ind. 8. 

>* ** afuffunt** and " i^x'^* mfi^mr Bothe's Homer, i. 428. Herod, iii. 20. 

" ^lian, V. H. iii. 18. These notions were, however, partly connected with the 
optica] deception which makes the horison, or extremity of the earth, appear nearest 
to heaven. Uckert, Geogr. iii. 1, p. 287. Comp. Ydlcker^s Japetns, 811. 818. 


lion to the extension of geographical knowledge. The islands 
of the blest, at first placed vaguely in Ocean, were successively 
identified with Sardinia'*, the extremities of Mauritania^', the 
Canaries'*, or even another world'*. The Hebrew Eden (land 
of delight) is vaguely placed near the remote sources of the 
rivers of Central Asia, in regions eastward of Palestine", from 
whence, according to tradition, originated the ancestors of the 
race. In the. same quarter the Greeks of the age of Alexander 
obtained intimations of a civilization anterior even to that of 
India and Egypt. Aristotle spoke of the Magi as older than 
the Egyptians, and his scholar Clearchus declared the Indian 
gymnosophists to be their descendants'^. Another disciple of 
Aristotle, Eudemus'", identified these Magi and the doctrines 
of Zoroaster with the Arii, a general name for the races covering 
the table-land of Iran", and extending northwards over 
Bactriana and Sogdiana*®. Pausanias speaks of ''Indian 
Magi,"*^ and it was supposed by some that even Judaism itself 
originated from among these ancient sages '*. The Jews of the 
captivity were eager to welcome their Deliverer in the person 
of Cyrus, whom they called ''Righteousness from the East,*' 
and " Executor of Jehovah's decrees," thus in a manner iden- 
tifying the Persian religion and their own''; and Gesenius'^ 
and others have been induced to suspect a relationship or 

»* Aiistot. Phyi. ir. 11. 

» Strabo, L p. 5 ; iii. 104. 150. Tsetses in Ljc. 648. 

" Pliny, N. H. tL 82 or 87. 

" Yiig. JBn. Ti. 640. Cicero, Somn. Scip. 8. Biod. & iii. 67. MeU. iii 10. 

** Genes, ii. 8 ; liL 24 ; xL 2. 

^ Diog. Laert. Pr5em. 8, 9. 

** Damascins, de Frindpiis, Eopp. p. 884. The word Magi is said to mean 
"Priests," or wise men. Porphyr. de Abstin. iy. 16. Apuleius ApoL toI. de 
Hagi&, cb. 25. 

»• Strabo, rv. 720. 728 ; il 180. 

» lb. 724. •' IT, 82. 

** Diog. Laert. Pr. 9. Tacitas, Hist iy. 2. 

« Con£ Is. xli. 2. 25 ; xlyL 11, 

« Is. xlL 2. Vol iy. p. 48. 



connection in unrecorded times'* as the only way of accounting 
for many curious resemblances both in legend and in doctrine 
between the early religion of the Hebrews and that of other 

The word Eden means something excellent and delightful; 
the trees of Eden, like the ships of Tarshish, denote the finest 
and most excellent of their kind^. Saul clothed the daughters 
of Israel in Edens, or delights*'; and to be in Eden was to 
enjoy the greatest luxury and pleasure". Any fertile country**, 
and in particular the expected restoration of the Hebrew king- 
dom was compared to Eden, the garden of the Lord **. Among 
the places locally distinguished by the name of Eden was a 
hill district of Northern Assyria or Media, called Eden in 
Thelassar". This Thelassar or EUasar** is conterminous with 
Ptolemy's *' Arrapachitis,"** and with the plain of the ancient 
city Rages or Ragon'*, where the Assyrian monarch overcame 
the Median king Arphaxad. Rai in several Asiatic tongues 
was a name for Paradise**, and both Rai and Arphaxad or 
Arrapachitis occur in the personal genealogy of Heber **. It 
has been ingeniously surmised that the genealogy from Shem 
to Abraham'^ is in part significant of geographical localities, 

^ Oomp. Lassen's Ind. Ant i. p. 529. 

» Ezek. xzxi. 9. 16. 18. ^ 2 Sam. i. 24. 

» Etek. xxviii. 13. » Oen. xiu. 10. 

^ Joel iL 8. Is. li. 8. Bsek. xxzti. 5. 

'> 2 Kings zix. 12. Ezek. zzTii. 23. Qesen. Lex. p. 60. 1117. Winer, R. W. B. 
i. 880 ; ii. 704. 

« Gen. 141. 

*3 Meaning either "Ghaldsan fortress," Ewald, Geschichte, i. 338; or, "Aiy- 
apakschata,*' bordering on Arya, or Iran. Y. Bohlen. Genesis, 137. 

« Judith i. 6. 15. 

^ Von Bohlen. Genes, p. 27. 

** Ren is Bagan in the Septnagint 

" Shem, the name of the fiither of a cirde of nations extending firom the Perrian 
gulf to north and west, means literally ** Eleyation" (Bwald Geschichte, i. 829. 
Buttmann, Myth. i. 221), or " Heaven," equivalent to the Phoenician Baal-Samen, 
or Lord of Heaven. Euseb. Pr. Ev. i. 10. 34 ". Guigniaut, ii. 20. Lassen, Ind. 
Antiq. 519. Amdt, Buropaische Sprache, 157, 158. 



or successive stations occupied by the Hebrews in the progress 
of migration from some point in the north east of Asia, from 
which tradition extended itself in a divergent circle as from the 
mjrthical Eerieya of the Zendavesta**. In Hebrew tradition, 
as in that of the Indians and Persians, this region was im- 
memoriably sacred *'; the Israelite referred to it the site of 
his imaginary Eden, as the Persian idealised the garden of 
Ormuzd in a transcendental conception of Iran^^ Eden 
is admitted to have disappeared from the visible earth. We 
should no more seek the geographical position of the Eden 
of Genesis than search the map for the summit of Merou*'. 
Not only the nature of the flowers of Paradise, the flavour 
of its wine, the milk and honey of its rivers, &c., but its 
very existence on earth was already a matter of controversy 
among the fathers of the church^''; it became the celestial 
paradise or place for departed spirits^'; and as Ambrose 
rationally observes^, if Paul, who alone of Adam's sons was 
enabled to see Paradise, was yet incapable of describing what 
he saw**, how could he or any man be expected to describe 
what he had never been permitted to witness? The best 
authorities consider Eden as a hypothetical idea whose terms 
correspond in general with the highlands of Northern Iran*"; 

» Ewald, Hist Israel, 316. 888. 886. 

* Job zzxrii. 22. Eiek. i. 4. Is. xiv. 18. Zech. tI 8. Rosenmulkr, Ai- 
terthom, i. 154. Lassen, 511. 

*^ A temple of Japiter (Ormosd) stood on the top of the hortkiiltiiiml monnt of 
B^bistan. Diod. S. ii 18. 

** Beported, however, by Bishop Heber as standing within the actual limits of 
British territory. 

** Coot Theophilns ad Autol. 2. Tertnllian, ap» c. 47, describes it as "maceria 
qnaedam ignese illius sonae it ootititL orbis communis scgr^jatum" — and Origen (m 
Cels. vii. 29, p. 714), calls it mk^«^*» iv naimff •v^»^ ynt, Justin Martyr, on the 
other hand, holds the doctrine of a " vrm^^tiu^t mrAic«f." Confer. BasiL p. 848. 
Bphmim Syrus. ap. Uhllman in Illgen's Zeitschrift, Hist. Th. 

«> Beieshith. Bab. xxl 7. 

** Be Paradise, ch. 11. 

«• 2 Corinth, zii. 2. 

^ Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde, i. p. 528. V. Hammer, in the Wiener 
Jahrbuch der Litterator for 1820, vol. ix. p. 25, says the original Airya land of the 

D D 2 



and that all eyidenoe and investigation both of language, 
mythology, and tradition, both Zend and Indian ^^, point with 
singular unifonnity towards the same upland districts lately 
explored by Lieutenant Wood, the "Eerieya" of the Zend 
books, as the source of the divergent population which originally 
colonised a large portion of the earth ^". 



Narrative and fable were the earliest and most appropriate 
vehicles of instruction. It was ever customary in the East to 
give an historical or narrative form to ideas and reasonings 
which would now be enunciated as abstract propositions. They 
told a pleasant story, and left the moral to be extracted by the 
ingenuity of the hearer or reader. Truth, says Pindar*, may 

Zend, with its aacred mountain Borj (i. e. high mountain) most be sought in the 
Imans of the ancients, the Beloor Tag or western slopes of the central mountains of 
Tartary, generallj corresponding with the district of the ancient city Bactia, Balkh, 
or Zariaspa, said to have been built by E[aiomorz, and even to this day called " the 
mother of cities," and ''the oldest in the world.*' Bitter, Erdkunde, iL 498. 
Hecren, Ideen, i. p. 814, 4 Ed. It was not until afterwards that the Median 
Elburj and the Caucasus to the West became the sacred mountains of the Persian 
religion, after Magian colonies had settled in these countries. E. Bumouf on the 
Tashna, p. 184. 

^ Indian tradition refers the origin of the higher clsns, the Aryia, or nobles, aa 
opposed to the Hlekha, or barbarians, to the country of the North West ; the first 
•ettlement of the Aryia, and sacred domain of Biahma-Tarta, was not Ayodhya, but 
the country near the rirer Saraswati to the westward, called in the Hahabharatn 
''the pUu» of Sacrifice of the Prajapati," or Creators. The Brahmins esteem the 
Northern region, called Uttara Eurik, or Airavarta, as a land of the blessed. 
(Lassen, Ind. A. 612. Baehr's Ctesias. Ind. 8, and conf. the Asiatic Hyperboreans 
of Herodotus, ir. 18. 82, and the Excursus of Baehr.) The Bactrians were esteemed 
a powerful and important people, and were regarded with superstitious awe. Biod. 
S. ii. 2. 5; xiy. 20, p. 656. Baehr*s Ctesias Pers. 2. In Arrian. Alex. ir. 1, ad 
fin. Zarlaspa is called fwyi^m wXjt, 

^ Creuser, Symb. i. 296, &c. Carl. Bitter's Erdkunde von Asien. Band. O. 
▼ol. 8 of the genend work, 2nd Edit. p. 17. Lassen, Alterthumskunde. 

> Nem. ▼. 80. 


be told too plainly; the fictions of mythology are better suited 
to affect and beguile the mind than the unadorned and literal'. 
The wisdom of antiquity was incorporated in these agreeable 
narratives', whose beauty made the monstrous seem credible^. 
To tell tales of fiction with an air of truth was the boast of the 
Muse of Helicon^; even prose compositions, particularly those 
of a philosophical character, were at first imitations of poetry*. 
The effort to instruct was constrained to have recourse to the 
most impressive and captivating forms. The earliest histories 
were little more than compilations of those legends which had 
been the staple of oral circulation, such as may still be heard 
among the Lazzaroni of Naples or in the Bazaars of the East. 
The spirit of apologue is as widely spread as the spirit of poetry. 
We are often unreasonably disappointed in not finding fidelity 
as to facts in a narrative primarily intended to be a moral 
lesson. The epic unity of Herodotus consists in the grouping 
of his materials for the illustration of one great theory of 
providenticd government. One and the same moral pervades 
his stories of CrcBsus, Cyrus, and Polycrates, as well as the 
final catastrophe of the Persian war; and to enforce his favourite 
hypothesis he occasionally exaggerates with so much dramatic 
effect OS to induce a suspicion that his object was not so much 
fidelity as an annalist\ as the pleasurable surprise of the 
denouement, and that "x^^^^»** ^^^ feeling for the beautiful> 
which was the great principle of Greek art whether plastic or 
literary. The same tendency to make the fact subordinate to 
the moral is seen in many of the so called historical books of 
the Hebrews. Here too the character of the annalist is merged 
in that of the speculative theologian, and the narrative is alto- 

« Oly. L 45. • Nem. vii. 88. 

* Oly. i. 51. 4>«Xif}«vM tiftf •i EXXuNf, says Dio ChryBOStom Or. 11, » y «» 
mtuvemwn n^ims mH X^ynrot rautra «m2 mXnin fful^it^ttJ* Conf. Horn. Od. r. 208. 
Theognis, v. 718. Plato, Phacdrus, 229^ 

• Heeiod, Th. 27. 

' i m^in A«y«f fufinfui rw tr^inrtMu i#r/». Stiabo, L 18. 

* Conf. Baehr*B Herod, i. 214, p. 471. 

• Pind. OL i. 48. 


gether subservient to the object of proving the power of Jehovah, 
his inflexible justice, his foreknowledge of events, and his 
necessary agency in the production of that train of circum- 
stances by which disobedience is ever discountenanced and 
punished'. " We do not believe/* says Strabo, '* many of the 
narratives of even prose writers who adopt the Iiistorical form, 
although they may not themselves acknowledge their mytho- 
logical character; because it is obvious that they are relating 
mythi intentionally, not through ignorance of &cts, but 
because they purposely invent impossible things for the sake of 
exciting pleasure and astonishment;" and Theopompus actually 
boasts that he will relate " historical fables ** more appositely 
than either Herodotus, Ctesias, or Hellanicus."** Yet these 
mythical narratives, after all, are often in a sense more truthftil, 
as well as more amusing, than the stately pretensions of 
history; and if even among the intelligent Athenians, those 
keen speculators in the intellectual market, the Sophists, still 
continued to find the /MvBof more in demand than xoyo;^'; if 
even philosophers, as Plato ^*, had recourse to fable in order to 
explain what could not in any other way be made equally 
intelligible, and substituted verisimilitude for &et, it is not 
extraordinary that a medium so well adapted for conveying the 
most clear and forcible yet inoffensive lessons should stand at 
the head of ancient wisdom, and since men in many respects 
ever continue children, that it should never have wholly lost its 
fitness or popularity. 

''It is through allegories and fables that we receive the 
earliest accounts we have of all nations, particularly those of 
the East ^*. In these days when exactness is so much valued 
we may perhaps be tempted to deplore this medium as liable to 

* 2 Kings xrii 7. 
>« Streb. i. 115, p. 48. 

*' Plato, Protag. 320*^. ^mii — x*V*^^t** *"«< f^»^** Xiynt, 
*' Phasdr. 229% and Time. 29^ » fiXt^0f»t ftkfw^n •#«» says ArisloU^. 
Met. i. 2. 
" Sir John Malcolm's Sketches of Persia, cL 9. 


mislead; but must recollect that if we had not their aueient 
records in that form, we should have them in none. 'Fiction/ 
says Bacon, 'gives to mankind what history denies, and in 
some measure satisfies the mind with shadows where it cannot 
enjoy the substance.' England herself has benefited largely 
from these Eastern tales; our best fables came with the sun 
from that genial clime where nature pours forth her stores with 
so liberal a hand that she spoils by her indulgence those on 
whom she bestows her choicest gifts. In that fayoured land 
the imagination of authors grows like their own eyergreeois, in 
unpruned luxuriance. But the climate of the East, while it 
fosters lively imaginations and strong passions, disposes the 
frame to the enjoyment of that luxurious ease which is adverse 
to freedom. The fathers of families, the chiefs of tribes, and 
the sovereigns of kingdoms, are, within their separate oirdes, 
alike despotic ; their children or subjects are therefore com- 
pelled to address these dreaded superiors in apologues and 
tales, lest the plain truth spoken in plain language should 
offend; and to avoid this unpleasant result every bird, beast, 
and fish have received the gift of speech, and been made to 
represent kings, or courtiers, soldiers, wise men and foolish, 
old men and little children, in order, as a Persian author says, 
' that the ear 'of authority may be safely approached by the 
tongue of wisdom.' ** 

One great object of story was to give plausible and popular 
explanations of well-known facts. The series of sand banks 
between India and Ceylon was mythically explained to be the 
remnant of the bridge of Kama constructed by the monkeys for 
the use of the victorious hero. Every wonder of nature or art had 
its legend, connected with the feats of Hercules ox the Giants, the 
spells of Tadmor or Stone-henge. Significant names were ex- 
plained etymologically, and were supposed to have been originally 
suggested by an appropriate event. Sometimes a story was 
invented in iUustration of a name or fact; sometimes a real fact 
was quoted in corroboration of an imaginary story, and like the 


lower of Babel, or the gigantic bed of Og the King of Bashan^^, 
became for ever after a '* standing miracle" confirmatory of 
popular tradition. The riiip of Ulysses remained an eternal 
monument as a Corcyrsean rock'*; Ovid " saw" the trees which 
once had lived in human shape as Baucis and Philemon; the 
sisters of Phaeton still hung mournfully over their brother's 
grave as Lombardy poplars, and every year the streams of 
Palestine and Troas were tinged anew with the blood of 
Memnon or Adonis'*. 

Oriental lore became thus filled with innumerable stories, 
which however puerile in themselves are interesting as records 
of opinion, being only a peculiar form of representing a con- 
spicuous fact or deeply-felt truth. They are the first attempts 
of hypothesis to account for what appeared strange or im- 
pressive, and being almost entirely conceptional and un- 
historical, mirror with only the greater fidelity the minds 
through which they circulated. According to the Buddhist 
legends of Japan, the missionary anchorite Dharma had ob- 
tained great credit by extraordinary austerities. Day and night 
he continued absorbed in that profound meditation which raises 
the soul into communion with heaven. He even engaged him- 
self in a vow never to sleep, and having been on one occasion 
overpowered by drowsiness he indignantly cut off his eye-lids. 
Betuming on the following day to the spot where this cruel 
operation had been performed, he was surprised to find his two 
eye-lids changed into two shrubs. He tasted some of the 
leaves, and instantly was thrilled with an enlivening sensation, 
which cleared the head and invigorated the mind. Charmed 
with the discovery of this useful restorative, he communicated 

" Deut iii 11. " Hiny, W, 12, p. 207. 

** The rock of Pytho was standing evidence of the legend of Croniu and the 
•tone; the cinders in the bed of the Asopus were an eternal monoment of the 
avenging bolt of Zeus. (ApoUod. iii. 12. 6.) Fragments of the half-oxganised day 
eat of which Promethens made mankind were to be seen in a temple in Phods. 
Pausan. x. 4. 8« 


k to his disciples^ and the Tirtues of tea were thenceforth uni- 
versally recognised, not only as being delightful to the sense, 
but as favourable to religious meditation. 

A similar story was invented as a plausible account of the 
invention of wine. Jemsheed had reserved a quantity of grapes 
in a large vessel; when the vessel was opened, the grapes had 
fermented, and the juice was so unpalatable that it was removed 
and inscribed with the word poison. It so happened that the 
favourite Sultana being one day affected with a depression of 
spirits was desirous of death, and seeing this deadly potion, she 
drank of the contents, which caused her to fall into a sound 
sleep. She awoke refreshed, and, delighted with the remedy, 
repeated the doses so often that the poison was nearly all 
drunk. Jemsheed, on being made aware of the circumstances, 
himself partook of the beverage, which continued to maintain 
its reputation in Persia under the name of Zeher-e-khoosh, or 
" the deUghtful poison."" 

In the narrative of the Fall, the object of the writer was to 
explain the great moral mystery; the origin of evil, and the 
apparent estrangement fix)m heaven; to account for the pre- 
sumed connection of increase of knowledge with increase of 
misery, and, in particular, to reconcile the great penalty of death 
with divine justice. Subordinate to these greater points were 
the questions, why is the earth covered with thorns and weeds? 
whence the origin of clothing, of sexual shame and passion? 
whence the infliction of labour, and how are we to justify the 
degraded condition of women in the East, or to account for the 
loathing so generally felt towards the serpent tribe? 

The parabolic form was not a mere expedient to amuse, but 
a psychological necessity; the ancient sage who proposed to 
discourse on philosophical subjects was constrained to employ 
it, not merely in consideration for the limited capacity of his 
auditors, but from the difficulty felt by himself in devising ex- 
pressions for abstract ideas. If for instance he wished to 
explain the origin of human misery as conjectured to arise out 

" Malcolm's History of Persia, L IS. 


of that spirit of discontent which is ever aspiring to something 
more perfect and exalted, he could not have conceived far less 
have expressed these ideas in a form of abstract generality, but 
would rath6r have ^ideavoured to elucidate them by referring 
to his own experience, and by translating into narrative a page 
out of his own mental reminiscences. Imagination would then 
very naturally place him under the trees of a garden, and recall 
the happy memories of the opening of life. He would see men, 
as children, happy in ignorance and innocence, without a 
suspicion or a wish for higher happiness or freedom, pass the 
early days of a golden age in Paradise. Then he would mourn- 
fully reflect on the first steps of the transition by which he 
remembers to have passed from the happy age of thoughtless- 
ness and peace to that of awakened consciousness, but, at the 
same time, that of anxiety, uncertainty, and pain. The first 
development of the intellect would appear in the retrospect as 
the fountain-head of a long succession of cares and disappoint- 
ments. They would be identified with the very origin of human 
suffering, and of all those painful vicissitudes which find at 
length their appropriate consunmiation — death compassionately 
ending the weary trials of a being who might once have claimed 
and enjoyed an immortality. 

§ 6. 


The ancient Persians were remarkably fond of gardens. 
They were indispensable appendages of a royal residence, and 
the Persian monarch, wherever he might happen to be, could 
always command one of these pleasant retreats \ The famous 
hanging gardens at Babylon were said to have been constructed 
to please a Persian concubine, who sighed for the mountain 

' Eflthei vii. 7. Xenoph. A nab. i. 4. 10. (Econ. iv. 13; zii. 30. 


bowers and plantations of her natiye land'; and luxurious 
gardens everywhere sprung up along the martial progress of 
Semiramis*. Xenophon calls these gardens ''Paradises," a 
word of Persian or Sanscrit origin^ ofien used in the later 
books of the Old Testament*; and, in the Sq>tuagint, sync- 
nymous with Eden. The Persian '' Paradise" was richly pro- 
vided not only with vegetable productions, but with every sort of 
animal, bird, beast, and fish, for the king's diversion*; and, as 
the extermination of noxious animals was as much a sacred 
duty as the rooting up of weeds and briars, the chase became a 
necessary part of royal education \ Cyrus the Great is said 
when a young man to have been so keen a sportsman, that he 
destroyed all the animals in his father's Paradise', and speedily 
became ambitious of following nobler and more dangerous 
game'. The younger Gyrus imitated the divine Jima, or 
Achffimenes'^; with his own royal hands he laboured in his 
garden^S and used to hunt for exercise in a large paradise at 
Celsen® in Phrygia^'. The habits of the Persian king, him- 
self acknowledged to be a god'*, were formed by the Magi 
after a divine model ; his empire was the terrestrial counter- 
part of that of Uranus '^ and there can be little doubt that the 
pleasure grounds and diversions of the Medes, as well as the 
architecture of their palaces and cities, had a symbolical mean- 

' StnOio, X7\. 738. Qaint. Cort ▼. 1. Diod. iL 10. Joiepli. Ant x. 11. 1. 
Contr. Ap. i. 19. 

' Diod. S. ii. 13 ; comp. xvi 41. 

* "Paradefia,** beavtiftil land. Pollux, Onomast. ix. 3. Gesenii TheBaumi, 
p. 1124. Grans. 8. i. 218 note. 

* Oant It. 18. Eodei. iL 5. Nchem. ii. 8. 

' Zen. Hellen. it. 1. 15. CyropiBd. Tiii. 1. 88. 
' Gtiigniaut, Rel. i. 334. 

* Cjrop. L 8. 14 ; iv. 6. * rnt t^ 0n^. 
'* Djemsiiid, the inventor of agncnltnre. 

" Xen. (Ec iy. 22. 24. JB\. H. A. i. 59. 
" Xen. Anab. i. 2. 7. PhiloMr. V. Apol. i 88. 

i> The "uKmfii$» ifA^vx**** Plutarch; in Themistode. BrisMnius, P. P. i 14^ 
p. 15. Herod. Tiii. 140. iSiehyU Pernc. 134 (157), &c. 
*« Herod, tu. 8. 


ing, and were connected with tbe mysteries of their religion". 
The state of the great king was a mimic representation of the 
divine majesty, and the royal gardens were emblematic of the 
original garden of delights which Ormuzd boasts of having 
planted. " I have created, Zoroaster, a place of delights and 
of abundance; no one could make its equal; came not this 
region of pleasure from me, no being could have created it. 
It is called Eeriene Yejo^'. It is more beautiful than the 
whole world, wide as it is. The first habitation of blessedness 
which I, Ormuzd, created, without any impurity, was Eeriene 
Vejo; thereupon came Ahriman, pregnant with death, and 
prepared in the river which watered it the great serpent of 
winter," &c. 



Abundance of water was essential to the existence of a 
garden in a warm climate \ A "' garden without water" was a 
type of anything doomed to certain destruction; and the 
obvious dependence of vegetable life on the presence of mois- 
ture suggested to the later Jewish writers the imag6 of the 
" Dew of Jehovah" as the agent for effecting the resurrection of 
the dead'. Water being therefore the necessary condition of a 
garden, Eden, the type of all other gardens, possessed also the 
paragon of rivers, and became the imaginary source of all the 
waters of the earth. The Brahmins believed that a river 
issuing from a single source at the feet of Yishnou became 
divided into four streams on the summit of the holy mountain 
Merou, and thence flowing down its four sides were distributed 

1^ Herod, i. 98. Apnleini de Mando. ch. 26, 27. Creus. Symb. il 191. 

'* The pure Iran. 

' Gesen. Is. i. 80 ; Iviii. 11. Fs. i. 8. Jerem. xvii. 8. 

' Geseniuf, la. xxvi. 19. 


towards the four Dwipas, or regions of the earth. With the 
Indian Merou corresponds the Alborj of the Zendavesta, and 
from the divine spring Ardvisour on its summit at the foot 
of the throne of Ormuzd run all the rivers of the seven Kesh- 
wars'. The licence of mythical geography would have no 
difficulty in referring to a common fountain any rivers how- 
ever apparently distant their real springs or channels. In 
Homer and Hesiod the fountains^ rivers, and seas being all 
derivations from Ocean, are poetically called its children*; 
and Virgil seems to have conceived some subterranean recep- 
tacle in which all the terrestrial rivers are mysteriously ex- 
hibited and connected*. The Hebrews, too, entertained the idea 
common to Indian and Ionian philosophy, that the earth floats 
as an island upon the surface of a subterranean ocean, or 
"great deep."* "AU the rivers run into the sea," says the 
Hebrew philosopher^ " yet the sea is not fuU ; unto the place 
whence the rivers come, thither they return again;" and their 
mysterious sources might fairly be considered to be the legiti- 
mate doors of those dark receptacles from whence the whole 
body of subterranean water was once let loose upon the earth'. 
There were also waters above the firmament of heaven", which 
was ftimished with windows to account for immoderate deluges 
of rain" ; there was the supposed dwelling-place of Jehovah", 
who is consequently " seated upon the floods," and ** enthroned 
among many waters;"" who '4ays the beams of his chambers 
in the waters,"** and "treads on the waves of the sea."'* It 
was natural therefore that a river should flow through the 
celestial city*', a river full of water *^ causing all the earth to 

* Chxigiuant, Sel. i. 582. 702. 

« Iliad, f . 195. Hei. Tli. 865. 

* Georg. It. 465. Creius. and Herm. Briefe, p. 18. 

* Arist. Metap. i. 8. Ps. xziy. 2; cxxxvi 6. 0«n. vii. 11; xliz. 25. Bz. 

't Socles, i. 7. • Job xxxriiL 8. 16. • P». cxlvUi. 4. 

»• Gen. Til 11. " Ps. cxiii. 4. »« Ps. xxix. 8. 10. 

» Ps, ciT. 8. '* Job ix. 8. '* P». xlvL 4. 
«• Ps. Uv. 0. 


teem with plenteousness ; that as a type of the mysterious flow 
of time and being, rivers often identified with the Divinity 
himself, as the Ganges, the Achelous, or the Nile, should be 
deemed the most appropriate places for visions" and prayer "» 
and that the return of the paradisiacal kingdom should be repre- 
sented by the same natural symbol of the renewal of life and 
fertility ". 

Problems of mythical geography must be solved not by the 
map but by the mind ; and though it be as idle to inquire into 
the real site of the four Paradisiacal rivers as to search for the 
remains of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat, or for the palace of 
Mahadeva on the Himalaya, still it must be supposed that the 
ideal of the writer was firamed after some terrestrial analogy, 
some mythical conception respecting the constitution of the 
earth, and the distribution of the principal rivers of central 
Asia. There can be no doubt about the Euphrates and Tigris; 
but what two other rivers can be conceived as proceeding from 
the same sources? ''The Pison and Oihon," says Ewald*^, 
" I take to be the Indus and Ganges.'?' But the Gihon was 
by the ancients very generally presumed to be the Nile** ; and 
it becomes a curious question how this supposition can be 
reconciled with the theory of an Asiatic Paradise. It should 
be observed that Gush, the father of Nimrod and of several 
Arab tribes, denotes an Asiatic as well as an African region ; a 
''warm" southern country, with indefinite limits like the 
Ethiopia of the Greeks'*. It is possible that some authentic 
information respecting the course of the Astaboras may have 
led Josephus to remark that ''the Geon," flowing through 

'7 Dan. Tiii. 8 ; z. 12. Eaek. i. 1. Matt iii. 18. 

»• Acts xvi. 8. 

" Bey. xxi. 6 ; xxii. 1. John iv. 10. 14. ProT. x. 4 ; xiii. 14, &c. 

» 0«6chichte, L 881. 

" Joseplios, Ant. i. 1. 8. Lassen, Ind. Antiq. 529. 

» Qesen. Tbesanr. 281. The GI«on of Kcdfta. xxir. 27, is eyidently the Nile, and 
the Septuagint snbstitntes Geon for Sibor, or ''the turbid/* another well-known 
name for the Kile, in Jer. ii. 18. See Gksenins ad toc. *l^n^* 

» R^Tod, iii. 94. 


Egypt, denotes ''Rising from the East," and is what the 
Greeks call the Nile."'*. The Nile, or the imaginary river 
most nearly represented by the Nile, was thus supposed to 
describe a vast circle round Ethiopia and to reappear in 
Egypt^. Greece, which abounded in subterranean water* 
courses^ was filled with surprising stories of their remote 
origin. The Asopus was the Asiatic Meeander, and Arethusa 
in SicUy was the distant Alpheus of the Eleian plain. The 
Delians asserted a stream of their own to be a branch of the 
Nile; and the Nile. itself was sometimes made one with the 
Euphrates, which after being lost in a lake, reappeared in 
Upper Ethiopia '''^ the same river probably which iBschylus 
describes as rising near the fountains of the sun, and as finally 
issuing from the boundary of the Nubian cataract''. It might 
not then have appeared impossible that the Gihon or Nile 
might flow from the same region as the Pison or the Euphrates, 
for it is reported that Alexander on discovering crocodiles in 
the Indus, imagined he had found the sources of the Nile*'. 
The truth would seem to be that the Nile in sacerdotal geo- 
graphy was confounded with the "ocean stream" supposed by 
the ancients to flow round the earth*', through which the 
Argo found a passage of communication from west to east, the 
access to the current of "refluent" waters being variously ex- 
plained by different authors, either as some distant part of the 

^ Ant i. 1. 8. The AstaliOTas is pliiced by Jilian (H. A. xrii 40) in India. 

» Theoph. ad Antol. ii. 24. Lndolf. Hist JSthiop. "ratio cnrsos Nili instar 
ciitoli est" 

* Pans, ii 5. 2. 

** Prom. 787. Beyond the bounds of actual obserration, the most incompatible 
things are easily confounded by the imagination ; the west was in this way joined 
to the east, as the modem Syrians belicTe that the Barrada after flowing south-east 
from Damascus to the desert, reappears from a fountain in Lebanon, thence running 
westward to the soil Eelly*s Syria, p. 60. 

" Arrian. Bzp. Al. Ti. 1, 2. 

** Diod. 8. i. ch. 12 ; six. 96. A dogma first questioned by Herodotus as an 
iuTention of the poets. Her. ii. 21. 28; iii. 116; iv. 8. 86. 45. Odyss. xi. 639. 
Hiad, zxi. 195; iii. 5. Virg. Qeoig. it. 288. Tibnll ii. 5. 59. Oemp. Herod, i. 
202 ; iT. 18. 40. 42. 


sea, or the most considerable and distant of the rivers flowing 
into it, such as the Phasis, or the Nile, the Tanais, Ister, 
or Eridanus*". "The garden of Eden/' says Josephus*', 
" was watered by one river, which ran round about the whole 
earth, and was parted into four streams." In this way the 
same hypothesis which accounted for the extraordinary naviga- 
tion of Hercules or the Argonauts"', was made use of to bring 
the waters of the Nile from the distant Ararat or Himalaya. 
But all geographical difficulty was evaded by the view which 
made Paradise transcendental and celestial. Ephraim Syrus, 
for example, describes the holy river of Paradise as sinking 
beneath the cosmical ocean, and as thence transferred by sub- 
terranean channels through all the widely-separated fountains 
and rivers of the human world**. 



The garden of the Lord, like the paradise of Semiramis, is 
planted with every pleasant and useful tree; among them is the 
''tree of life," that obvious symbol met with in almost all 
mythologies^ and familiar in Scandinavia as in India. The 
tree of life was a common oriental emblem of the Spirit of 
Nature. The allegorical mantle of Zeus^ on which were painted 
earth and ocean, was said to have been spread over an oak', 

^ SchoL Apollon. Rh. !▼. 259. 284. Platuch, de Plac ir. 1, 2. MiUler, 
Oichom. 290. Such, too, is tke office of the riTer Triton. Uckert^ toL L pt 2, 
p. 822. 

» Ant L 2, 8. 

«* SchoL ApoU. Bh. iv. 259. 

** Uhlman, in Illgen's Zeitschrift. F. Hist Th. i 1. Comp. the idea of a subter- 
naean palace of Oceanas, the reseiToir of all the riven of the earth. See F]ato*8 
PhsBdo, p. 87. Wytt. Viig. Qeoig. It. 866, Voss. 

* Pherecyd. Stun. 46. Max. Tyr. D. x. 4. HliUer, Gr. Litt. 241. The oak 
was '* winged,'* probably in reference to the motion of the sphere. Clem. Alex. 
Strom. Ti. 621. 642. Comp. the oak of Pentheos, and the tree of the groTe of 
Man which bon the golden fleece. 


like the *' stretched out" heavens of the Hebrew prophet', the 
true tabernacle, of which Jehovah on his holy mountain was 
himself the prop '. The tree of life grew also in the midst of 
the Hindoo paradise upon Meru, and was symbohsed by the 
Lingam, the Lotus, and the Fipala, or Ficus religiosa, whose 
branches, like the creating power from on high, descend into 
the ground, and for ev&t vegetate afresh *, In the Bagvat-Geeta, 
God himself is the Aswattha or tree of life', and the Myrtle 
or Tamarisk which ensepulchres the corpse of Osiris or Adonis 
is the same Spirit of Nature often worshipped under the figure 
of a pole or trunk of a tree, or carving of more elaborate design, 
for which " righteous "* purpose, evergreens, and the more 
durable woods, were significantly chosen^. In the language of 
apologue, ta*ees and stones seem to have shared between them 
the honour of being the ancestors of mankind'; and Jeremiah 
ridicules the idolatrous practice that arose out of this idea'. 
In the Eddas and Zendavesta the tree of life is made the parent 
of the first human pair^^ and the Boman founder, the son of 
Sylvia, or Ilia", is suckled at the foot of the Ficus ruminalis'*. 
The tree of life, distinguished in Genesis from the tree of know- 
ledge, is in other mythologies united with it. Wisdom was 
itself the tree of life**; its leaves were the Vedas'*; Hom, the 
legendary prophet of Iran, unites both symbols as " living word " 

* Iniah xl. 22. > Exod. xxyl 30; xxxiii. 9. 

* Crenz. S. L 444. 

* Wilkini, p. 86. Guigniant, I p. 209. 
« Wudom xiv. 7. 

7 Amob. in Gent vi. 201. 209. Heyne, ApoUod. Fiag. 889. Yog. Mn. ii. 714. 
GeseniuB to Isaiah xl. 20, and i. 29. 

* Hom. Odyn. xix. 268. Hesych. toc. iXm, 

* Jerem. ii. 27. 

^^ Mone. Noidliches. Heiden. L 842. 847. Chugniaut, Bel. i. 707. 

'* Perhaps from H/K, the long-lived Terebinth tree of Palestine. Conf. Winer, 

IL W. B. iL 689. 

^' So, too, was Buddha ; and Adam, when hiding from God, was made by some to 
be new foimd at the root of the tree of life. Il]gen*s Zeitschrift. Adonis springs 
from a tree. ApoUod. iii. 14. 4. 

" ProT. iii. 18, '* Crcuz. S. i. 446, 

VOL. I. E K 


of Onnuzd, enthroned within a somptuous palace on the snm- 
mit of Alhorj '*. "Among these," says the Bounhehesch," "is 
the white, salubrious, and firuitfiil Horn; it grows by the 
fountain of Ardyisour, which springs from the throne of Ormuzd. 
Whoever drinks of the water, or of the sap of this tree, becomes 
immortal ^^ ; as it is written, the death expelling Hom was given 
for the raising of the dead to life ; it is the king of trees." The 
fruit which hung upon its branches was the soul of Zoroaster*'. 
A portion of this tree was supposed to be employed in aU 
sacrifices*', and it was customary for the Magi to adore the 
rising sun, holding in the left hand a bundle of tamarisk or 
myrtle twigs'^. In the poetical language of the Hebrews the 
righteous are said to be "as trees planted by the water-side," 
and "their fruit a tree of lite;"^* the Lord himself is the 
fountain of living waters;"" "the trees of Jehovah are full of 
sap." ** Out of these must have been framed that rod of Moses, 
which, like Neptune's trident**, or the thyrsus of Bacchus, 
brought the living waters from the rook, and the wood which 
healed the bitter fountain may not improbably have belonged 
to the same proverbial tree*^ whose fruit was destined to feed 
the just in Messiahs kingdom". 

» Gnigniant, ReL i. 848. 684. 

^ BoBenmuller, Alterthum. i. 179, i. e. the trees produced from the primordial 

*^ A Fernan physician went to search after a plant capable of restoring the dead 
to life ; he returned not indeed with that miraculons drug, but with a sabstitate for 
it in a Pehlyi Torsion of the Fnncha Tantra, the parent stock of the fables of Bidpai. 
Penny Cyclopsed. art. Bidpai. Creaz. S. i. 442. 

** Malcolm, Hist Persia, i. 192. 

'* Ghiigniant, ubi snpr. 

* Strabo, Z7. 788. Winer, B. W. B. ii. 560. Gesen. Lex. Trans, p. 286. 
Bsek. yiii. 17. Comp. Gaigniaut, Bel. iii. 729. 

« Ps. i. 2, 8. Sirach xzxiz. 18. Isaiah Ixi. 8. Prov. xi 28. 80 ; xiii. 12. 

» Ps. xxxvi. 9. Jer. ii. 18. ^ Ps. civ. 16. 

^ Herod, viii. 55. 

•• Exod. XV. 25. Comp. Wisdom xiv. 7. 

** Bev. ii. 7 ; xxii. 2. 14. In that part of Arabia where Hoses is sud to have 
corrected the waters of Harsh by means of a tree, no such plant, Niebahr, 
is to be found. 



§ 9. 


Among the many hard things said against womaix, 
exceed in bitterness what is implied in the story of t 
Not only was woman created for man's sake, but she bt 
the guilty cause of all his sorrows. The condition of Eastt 
women and their oppressive dependence upon man could only 
be accounted for on the supposition of some great primitive 
delinquency. The ancients laid it down as incontrovertible 
that women are the source of all evil, an unmitigated hindrance 
to mankind, inflicted on them by the wrath of the gods'. 
Simonides compared difiPerent sorts of women to different 
animals; thus we may find among them the characters of the 
sow, the fox, the female dog, the ass, the monkey, &c., for he 
says, ZfSvg fisyia-rov rour eTToiYiasv xaKOV — yuvaiKag*, Brahma, 
the first man of Hindoo cosmogony, is linked to a demon wife, 
a daughter of Patala; and in Persian as in Hebrew legend the 
first woman is the first victim to the seductions of Ahriman, the 
first sacrificer to the Deves". Women, according to Hesiod*, 
are not fit companions of poverty, but a luxury of the rich ; 
Perses is advised to retain a woman as part of his household 
furniture, as well as an ox for the plough; the woman, how- 
ever, is not to be married, but to be employed in following the 

1 Menander, Fng. Inc. 118. 116. 128. 195. Burip. Med. ilO. 420. Euripides 
snggetts a with that Jupiter could have oontriTed a different way of oontinmng the 
speciea. Hyp. 612. 

' Fng. 280. There are nnmberleis instances in whicb, under a variety of 
mytlucal forma, woman is made the origin of eril — 0. g. Helena, Pandora, Hetanira, 
Briphyle, Atalanta, Althaea, Sthenoboea, Hypiipyle, Jocaata, Medea. In Enarete 
and Ddanira the names are significant; JBachylns gives a similar meaning to 
" Helene." (Agam.) 

' Onigniaut, Bel. i. 707. Tell not all your mind to a woman, says an ancient 
poet (Odyss. zi. 441. 456), for there is no trusting them. 

« Works, 878. 405. 

E E 2 


OX. Woman is created by the creator of art, HepheestuB * ; 
Aphrodite gives her desire and love of dress, Hermes deceit and 
impudence'; and as the origin of evil was commonly connected 
with that of luxury and refinement, the symbol of one became 
naturally associated with that of the other. If the writer be 
man, woman, in rude times, was sure to be dealt with unfairly 
— as most exposed to vain or vicious desires, and imprudent 
curiosity ^ 



The known peculiarities of men and animals were accounted 
for by being made the result of a fictitious occurrence of the 
olden time. Such was the story of the horse, who, in his con- 
test with the stag, invoked human aid, and so became for ever 
the slave of his rider ; or the swallow, who, laughed at by the 
birds, betook herself to the dwellings of man, and was on that 
account spared and protected by him. The crow in the mys- 
teries of Mithras was emblematic of the priest \ and legend 
related how the prattling raven who discovered to Apollo the 
infidelity of his mistress was rewarded with the black plumage 
he still possesses. In another story, when Prometheus stole 
fire to benefit mankind, the latter were so ungrateful as to turn 
informers, and to denounce the theft to Zeus. Zeus rewarded 
the information by giving men an antidote against old age. \ 

This valuable gift was injudiciously placed on the back of an \ 

ass. In the heat of summer the ass wanted to drink at a 
spring, but was prevented by a serpent. Tortured by thirst, he 
agreed to exchange the burden he carried for permission to 
drink. The serpent thus became enabled yearly to renew its 

■ Theog. 671. Diod. S. y. 74. 

■* Works, 65. See Volker's JapetoB, 85. 

7 EccleB. vii. 26. 28. Weiske, " Prometheui," p. 387, referring to Iniah iii. 

^ Porphyr. de Abst. iv. 360. Herod, iv. 16. Qaigniaut, i. 860. 


existence by changing its skin ; man remains without a remedy 
against advancing years; and the serpent (the dipsas) still 
suffers the ass's thirst, and communicates it with its bite^. 

The narrative of the fall attempts in a similar way to account 
for the peculiarities of the serpent, and for the aversion gene- 
rally felt for it. An analogous story was current in India', 
and the homicidal serpent was said to have been condemned to 
wander for ever an unsheltered outcast. The well-known &uot 
gave plausibility to the assumed cause; and possibly the 
Hebrew writer may have had in view the collateral object of 
discrediting, by the same sort of argument, the serpent worship 
which so long maintained its ground among his country- 

The peculiarities of serpents must have soon attracted the 
attention of mankind. They were viewed with especial awe by 
the superstitious ^ and a careful examination of their nature 
formed part of the far-famed wisdom of Egypt'. The symbol 
thus anxiously studied was well suited to express the mystical 
and contradictory, its mythological celebrity being derived partly 
ftom the good qualities ascribed to it, partly from the noxious 
ones, and partly from their combination. The property of 
casting the skin, and thus apparently renewing its youth, made 
it an emblem of eternity and immortality^ ; the women of Syria 
still employ the serpent as a charm against barrenness', as did 
the devotees of Mithras and Sabazius. The earth-born civilisers 
of the early world, Fohi, Cecrops, or Erechtheus, were half 
man, half serpent, signifying the exuberance of Nature, the 
earth's origin from water, or man s formation out of the ground; 
the snake was the genius loci, or guardian of the Athenian 

* Allan, N. A. ▼!. 51. Sehol. Nicander, Th. 848. 

* iBlian, Hist A. zii. 82. 

* LeTit xi. 48. 45. 2 Kings ZTiii 4. , 

* Theophnst Chanct 16. Justin. H. ApoL i. 27, p. 71. 

* Biueb. Pr. By. i. 10. 41i>. 

^ Payne Knigbt, Anct. Art. s. 25. Herod, ii. 74. Horapello. L I. Amob. v. 
19. 21. Stun. Pberecyd. 54. 

* KeUji Syria, p. 126. 


Acropolis*. The brazen serpent of the wilderness, perhaps an 
equivalent of the symbolical staff of the Egyptian ^sculapius 
or Agathodeemon, became naturalised among the Hebrews as a 
token of healing power ^''; and by some of the early Christian 
sects the emblem usually appropriated to Satan was used to 
represent the Saviour"^ whose spiritual ''gnosis" was typified 
by its proverbial wisdom^'. 

But the serpent was as often a symbol of malevolence and 
enmity^'. In this character it appears among the emblems of 
Siva-Boudra^ the power of desolation and death ^^; it is the 
bane of ^pytus, Idmon, Archemorus, and Fhiloctetes; it 
gnaws the roots of the tree of life in the Eddas, and bites the 
heel of unfortunate Eurydice. Generally in Hebrew writers it 
is a type of evir', and is particularly so in the Indian and 
Persian mythologies. When the sea is churned by Mount 
Mandar rotating within the coils of the coemical serpent 
Yasouki to produce the Amrita, or water of immortality, the 
serpent vomits a hideous poison, which spreads and infects the 
universe, but which Vishnou renders harmless by swallowing 
it*'. Ahriman in serpent form invades the realm of Ormuzd, 
tainting fire with smoke, and light with darkness ; the kingdom 
of pure light becomes thenceforth shared with night, or divided 
between good and evil ; the destroyer strikes man with disease, 
and pollutes every part of Nature. The bull, the emblem of 
life, is wounded and dies: and the ancestors of the human 
race, tempted by the fiiiits which Ahriman presents to them, 

* Herod. yiiL 41 ; i. 78. MttUer, HythoL Tnuu. 219. Servius to J&n. t. 95. 
Artemidori Oneir. ii. 18, and Bigaltios ad loc. p. 101. 

"> Wi»d. xYi. 6. 

^* Bochart. Hieros. zii. p. 425. 

>' Philo de Leg. Alleg. 2. Clem. Alex. Strom, y. 12. 81, p. 094, Pott; and 
tL 7. 58, p. 769. Matt x. 16. 1 Cor. xu. 4. 

*' Artemidori On. ii. 18. 

^* auigniaut, Rel. i. 162. 216. Asiatic Res. i. 188. 

*' Ps. Iviii. 4; ex). 3. Frov. xxiii. 32. Bccles. x. 8. 11. Sirach xxi. 2; 
xii. 13. 

'• Guigniaut, Eel. i. 184. 


are made subject to pain and death ^\ It was therefore a reli- 
gious obligation with every devout follower of Zoroaster to ex- 
terminate reptiles, and other ''impure'* animals, especially ser- 
pents '^ A particular season of the year was appointed for the 
purpose — i rm Mcaim afai^B<rii — this was the seventh month, or 
harvest time, corresponding with the seventh chiliad, or third 
age of the world, when, in the chronology of Persian legend, 
the assault of the Ahriman occurred. In India, too, it was 
customary at the decline of the year to smear the doors of 
houses with sacred cow-dung as a charm against venomous 
reptiles ''. The idea of the four ages was copied from the four 
seasons ; and the commencement of autumn when fruit hung 
temptingly on the trees, and when the earth teemed with 
snakes and scorpions, was naturally associated with that ima- 
ginary epoch when luxury and sin in fatal connection with 
each other gave the first indications of decline towards a moral 
winter*^. The moral and astronomical signifioancy of the 
serpent was thus connected. It became a maxim of the Zenda- 
vesta, that Ahriman, the principle of evil, made the great ser- 
pent of winter who assaulted the creation of Ormuzd'\ Hence 
the astronomical position of the serpent near to the autumnal 
constellations; and if the ''Eorosch," or eagle '^ became the 
attribute of Jove or of Jehovah**, it followed that its enemy, 
the snake or dragon ^^ should represent his great physical and 
moral adversary. But the serpent had many varying meanings. 
A serpent ring was a well-known symbol of time^^; and to 

" Chiigniaut, i. 707. 742. '• Herod, i. 140. 

'* Von Bohlen. Ind. i. 260, and Oenea. p. 49. 

.*' PUny, N. H. yiii. 29. Amtot. de Hirab. Aug. 27. Maloolm't Sketches of 
Penia, ch. 14. 

»» Zend, il 299. » Ghiigniant, L 721. 

^ Dent xxxii. 11. Bzod. ziz. 4. 

" Schol. Antig. Sophoc. v. 126. Aristotle's Hist An. ix. 2, 8. Mlwa, H. A. 
ii. 26. It is olMerrable that in Stesichorus and iBschylus, Orestes becomes 
a serpent when he kills Agamemnon. Stes. Frag. Incert i. 1. iBsch. Choeph. 
490. 865. 

^'^ Macrob. Sat i. 9. Horapollo, 1. 


express dramatically how time preys upon itself, the Egyptian 
priests fed vipers in a subterranean chamber, as it were in the 
sun's winter abode, on the fat of bulls or the year's plenteous- 
ness. The same symbol includes eternity, time perpetually 
regenerated and renewed**; generally, however, it is restricted 
to time's gloomier or hurtfiil subdivision, presiding over the 
close of the year^ where it guards the approach to the golden 
fleece of Aries, and the three apples, or seasons of the Hes- 
perides*^. It there presents a formidable obstacle to the career 
of the Sun-God, who sometimes suffers a temporary defeat 
from it. In the person of Ammon, the golden ram, he is pur- 
sued to Mount Casius by the dragon of winter, and his nerves 
and sinews, concealed under a bear-skin, are deposited in the 
caverns of Cilicia**. The virgin of the Zodiac pursued by the 
solar hero Aristieus, an emanation or son of ApoUo^ is bitten in 
the heel by Serpens, who, with Scorpio, rises immediately 
behind her; and as honey, the emblem of purity and sal- 
vation'*, was thought to be an antidote to the serpent's bite'^ 
so the bees of Aristeus, the emblems of Nature's abundance, 
are destroyed through the agency of the serpent. But the bees 
are regenerated within the entrails of the vernal bull '^ ; 

" Taurus Draoonem genuit et Taurara Draco." 

The Sun-God is finally victorious. As Crishna crushes the 
head of the serpent Calyia", Apollo destroys Python, and Her- 
cules that LerqsBan monster whose poison festered in the foot 
of Philoctetes, of Mopsus'*, of Chiron, or of Sagittarius 


^ How varied, says a modem writer, is the symbolism of the serpent ; sometimes 
prolific nature (Cadmus, Erechthens, &c.); sometimes eternal health or youth 
( Asclepius) ; sometimes nature angry and desolate (Python). Mliller, Ares, p. 20, 

^ Bratosthenes, ch. 8. 

» Ovid, Metam. v. 828. ApoUodor. i. 6. 8. 

*• Porphyr. de Antro. 16. 

*> Pliny, N. H. xxii. 24. 60. Pind. 01. vi. 79. Creux. S. iii. 890 ; iv. 348. 

•'" Virg. (Jeorg. iv. 666. ^ Guigniaut, i 206. 

» ApoUon. Rh. iv. 1619. 

^* Bratosthenes, ch. 40. Gen. xlix. 17. ApoUodorus says the knee. ii. 5. 4. 6. 
In Achilles the wound is in the heel. 


The first act of the infant Hercules is to destroy the '^ ovxofAsvoi 
o^ttg," the pernicious snakes, detested of the gods'* ; his prowess 
is repeatedly directed against hydras and dragons, the brood of 
dark-dwelling Echidna*^, whose envenomed spirit barbs the 
tail of Cerberus. Sut the serpent is beneficent as well as bale- 
ful*^; for the destruction of one 8Bra is the commencement of 
another. The great destroyer of snakes is therefore occa- 
sionally married to them ; Hercules with the Northern Dragon 
begets the three ancestors of Scythia'*, for the sun seems at 
one time to rise victorious from the contest with darkness, 
at another to sink into its embraces. The same emblematic 
serpent of Time, which encircled the mundane egg in the 
Egyptian hieroglyphie, was made the astronomical cincture 
of the universe in the northern consteUation Draco, whose 
sinuosities wind like a river through the wintry bear*', and the 
hostile inroad of Ahriman was connected with the astronomical 
conception. The eclipses of the sun and moon were believed 
by orientals to be caused by the assaults of a demon in dragon 
form^^ and they endeavoured to scare away the intruder by 
shouts and menaces. This was the original "Leviathan" or 
"crooked serpent" of Job**, transfixed in the olden time by the 
power of Jehovah*', and suspended as a glittering trophy in the 
sky*', yet also the power of darkness, supposed to be ever in 
pursuit of sun and moon. When it finally overtakes them, it 
will entwine them in its folds and prevent their shining**. In 
the last Indian Avatara, as in the Eddas, a serpent vomiting 
flames is expected to destroy the world 


» Theocrit Id. zxit. 29. "* Het. Th. 295. 800. 

" Find. 01. Yi. 78. Apollod. iii. 8. 6. ^ Herod. W. 9. 

" Vizg. Georg. i. 205. 244. Azati» Plmn. 45. 
** Rhode, Heilige Sage, p. 865. 

*' Ch. iii. 8 ; xxii. 18. Oonf. m to the Leviathan of oh. xl. QeBenins to Iiaiah 
xxvii. 1, and li. 9. Ps. Ixviii. 80, &c. 
«« Job xxri. 12, 18. Conf. Ewald, p. 282. 

*' Hitsig's Job, loc. cit. ** Y. Bohlen, A. Indien. ii. 290. 

** Guigniant, i. 190. 


The serpent is selected as a fit iBstnimeat for the seduction 
of mankind on account of its characteristic '^ subtlety/' and 
perhaps also because its bite is a suitable emblem of insidious 
advice ^. As a nurse scares a child by threatening it with some 
noxious monster, so the Bible endeayours to wean us firom sin 
by comparing it to a venomous serpent, or roaring lion^^. The 
story is most naturally explained by Josephus, who after pre* 
mising that in those early days men and brutes spoke the same 
language, a language, which, as his translator remarks, may be 
still extant in the organs of certain animals, attributes the pro- 
ceedings of the tempter to envy^'; envy of man's happiness, or 
of his conditional immortality^'; or it may be, envy of the 
honours which in the ritual of Jerusalem had been withdrawn 
from itself to Jehovah '°. Josephus adds that the serpent was 
deprived of speech on this particular occasion; and as there 
was a vulgar notion that he feeds on dust*', it was as natural 
to make this degrading diet a part of his punishment, as to 
imagine sickness, toil, and death to be inflictions of divine 
vengeance for the sin of man. The serpent of Genesis is not a 
supernatural being, but a ''beast of the field:" to suppose the 
devil to be referred to, would be to deprive the narrative of all 
pretension to high antiquity*^. The early Hebrews thought 

^ Gomp. Bccliis. xzi. 2. Matt z. 16. 

*^ Bochart Hieios. ill. 5, p. 776. 

** Antiq. i. 1. 4. , Con£ Justin. M. Cohort 86. 

« Wwd. ii 24. Horapol. LI. ^2 Kings xviil 4. Luke iv. 7. 

»> Gesen. Isaiah Ixv. 25. Micah yiL 17. Nicander Theriaca, 872. SiUos. ItaL 
xvii. 499. Bochart, Hierosoic. iii. 246. Ps. ciL 10. 

^ The serpent is first identified with Satan in Wisdom ii. 24. This is the first 
undoubted scriptural allusion to the story of the Fall. It is strange that an event 
upon which all the subsequent moral circumstances of man must have been supposed 
to depend should never once have been distinctly alluded to until the late age of the 
Apocrypha, and even then, as it would seem, only in a figurative sense. (Comp. 
Sirach ziv. 17; zxi. 27.) Phrases such as a tree or well of life or of wisdom are too 
general to found any inference ; so, too, such as that man is dust, or that death is 
the necessary result of sin (Jer. zzxL 80. Exek. iit. 20, 21. Bodes. iiL 20 ; 
x\\. 7), axioms more resembling the foundation of the story than an allusion to 
It. The beguiling of the woman by the serpent is a topic not again distinctly 


that God himself tempts man — hardens his heart^*, and 
punishes him^^; and they attrihuted both good and evil to 
Jehovah, either ^th or without the intervention of an angel 
messenger. In the earliest use of intermediate machinery there 
is but little distinction of beings into good and evil. The angels 
are united in Jehovah's retinue, and without distinction of name 
or o£Eice are generally identified with his proceedings*'. When 
commissioned on a disastrous errand they are sometimes dis- 
tinguished as evil angels '', as the Greeks employed an ex- 
planatory epithet'^ in the same meaning. Yet the Hebrews, 
like other nations, had a popular notion of goblins and gnomes'' 
to whom they offered sacrifices'*, and of whom the much dis- 
puted Azazel^^ may possibly have been one. These seem to 
have resembled the demons of later times who lived in dry and 
desert places, and being of a thirsty or fiery nature entered into 
bodies to cool themselves by drinking their blood. They were 
like the malevolent Genii or Gryphons of Persia '\ who torture 
the traveller with thirst and simoom in those dry and lonely 
places, where Ahriman holds undivided empire, like his counter- 
part the Typhon'^ of the Libyan wastes. Some such vague 
notions, such as those of the Satyrs and Warlocks in Isaiah"', 

alluded to in the Old Testament. Adam is a collective term for mankind. (Qesen. 
Lex. Trans, p. 14) ; comp. the passage in Hosea vi. 7. Job zxxi. 88. The expres- 
sion in Isaiah (xliii. 27), "thy first fore&thers hare sinned" (comp. Gesen. iv. 
p. 76), amounts only to the LXX Tenion — «i ir«n^r vfun r^ttru — thy fiithers col- 
lectively. (Comp. Isai. liii. 6. Josh. xzIt. 2.) It is unlikely that a serpent should 
have been worshipped or looked to as a healer, if <U that time identified with the 
author of evil. 

» Bxod. Til. 3. Numb. xxii. 20. 1 Sam. xri. 14. 2 Sam. xxiy. 1. 1 Kings 
xiii. 18 ; xxii. 22. 2 Ohron. xviil 22. 

M Amos iii. 6. Job ii. 10. Judg. ii 15. 2 Kings xt. 5. 

^ Genes, xxxi. 11. 18. Bxod. iii. 2. 4 ; and comp. xiiL 21 with xiv. 19. 

•• Ps. Ixxviii. 49. 1 Sam. xvi. 23. 

" ^mifufa »miu9. Diog. Laert. PrSem. 

» Winer. E. W. B. Art. Gespenster. 

^ Levit. rvii 7. Deut. xxxii. 17. 2 Chron. xi. 15. 

•" Levit. xvi. 10. 26. Gfeorge, Judischen Feste, p. 297. 

•» iBlian, H. A. iv. 27. •' Moser's Nonnus, p. 181. 

*^ xiii. 21 ; xxxiv. 14. }atfi$n» in the LXX. 


may have afterwards been adopted by theology, and have 
served as a basis on which a more elaborate system of de- 
monology, in part derived and foreign, may have been engrafted. 
This occurred at the period of the captivity; and the Jews most 
probably adopted a portion of their diabolical machinery from 
the same source from which they took their angels^. For 
notwithstanding their presumed aversion to foreign learning, the 
Jews insensibly adopted many of the usages, phrases, and 
superstitions of all the nations with whom they were successively 
in contact. Although they might not at once transfer Ahriman 
and his Deves or the seven Amschaspunds of the Zendavesta 
unaltered into their own mythology, they interwove a great 
deal of secondary and symbolical imagery, blending it with 
their own exclusive theory by making the Persian dualism or the 
starry hosts of the Zabii subordinate to Jehovah's supremacy^. 
The mention of angels, sparingly scattered threugh the Penta- 
teuch, is much more frequent in the Targumist and other 
scriptural inteipreters; and at length it became a subject of 
curious speculation at what period they were first created; 
whether according to Psahns xxxviii. 6, and civ. 4, they were 
fonned as part of the firmament, an unmentioned portion of the 
air, or divine "spirit;" or whether they were included in some 
anomalous description of birds ^. We have already seen^ how 
in Pharisaic theory, the heavenly host was divided into seten 
regiments or brigades, Massaloth, Ehelim, Legion, Bahaton, &c., 
commanded by seven angelic chiefs, who like the seven great 
nobles of the Persian court"* formed a sort of staff around their 
king, and were allowed the privilege of standing in the presence 
of God •". And as the agency of good angels was henceforth 

** Dixit Simeon Ben Lachiab, " Nomina Angelomm et mensium aaoendenmt in 
domum laraelis ex Babylone." Traktat Roscb Haachanah, p. 56. 

•» Isaiah xl. 26 ; xlv. 7. 

•• laaiah vi 2. •' Supr. p. 126. 

• Herod, iii. 70, 71. Brther i. 14. 

** Luke i. 19. Rev. i. 4 ; iii. 1 ; iv. 6. Tobit xii. 15. Sometimes there are 
four chiefs of the ministering spirits (Heb. i. 1 4), who are called " Princes of the 
Presence," and named Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael. (Bnoch. xl. K) St. 


invariably substituted for the direct interference of Jehovah, evil, 
both physical and moral, assumed a distinct personal form. It is 
only after the captivity, or at some period intervening between 
the books of Samuel and Chronicles, that Satan, or "the Ad* 
versary," before only an epithet or quality ^^ occasionally pre- 
dicated of angels^', or of Jehovah ^^ became for the first time 
invested with his well known official character as an accuser^' 
or instigator to evir^. The theological idea of a ghostly 
adversary or principle of evil had already been developed in the 
Persian and Egyptian mythologies; and while to the Persian 
the enemy of all good was physically represented by darkness, 
to the Egyptian the type of the '^ Adversary" was the inhos- 
pitable desert, personified in Typhon, or his equivalent Anteeus 
or **oontrarius."^* The Hebrew "adversary" was at first but a 
vague conception which might be identified with any object of 
fear or enmity, individual or national ^^. The spiritual influence 
inimical to mankind when separated from Jehovah's person was 
still allowed to remain among the "sons of God," or angels in 
his retinue, and to enact the invidious part of public prosecutor 
before the divine tribunal ^^. He was afterwards still farther 
individualised and distinguished as the malevolent author of all 
calamities which it was no longer permissible to ascribe im- 

Paul reckons four classes of ipirits. (CoIobb. i. 16 ; oomp. Ephes. i. 21.) The seven 
angels of the presence were also stars, or planets. (Bey. i. 20 ; iii. 1 ; i?. 5.) 

^° When it had become settled that the Almighty had a spiritnal adyersary, an 
analogous opposition was deyised for his representative the Messiah. Bach Mes- 
sianic type was provided with a special "adversary ;" the son of David was to battle 
with Qog and Magog; the ''son of man" in Daniel with the "Prince of this 
world;" the Mosaic "Prophet" with the aieh-impostor Balaam, and the renewed or 
heayenly Adam with the Devil. GfrOrer, Urchristenthom. 

** Num. xzii. 22. Bsther vii. 6. Oomp. Ps. ciz. 6. 

^ Bxod. xziii. 22. 

^ Job i. 8 ; ii. 8. Zachar. iii. 1. 

^* Gomp. 2 Bam. zziv. 1 with 1 Chron. xxL 1. 

7* Typhon, left by Osiris in charge of Libya and Bthiopia. Creozer, ii. 87. 
Died. 8. i. 21. 

^ Goof. 1 Kings v. 4; zi. 14. 25. Btther vii. 0. Job xzxi. 8£k 

'' Job i. 8. 


mediately to the Almighty^*; but his agency was still sub- 
ordinate and permitted, for the strictness of Jewish monotheism 
prevented him from being, like Ahriman, entirely independent. 
It seems almost a mental necessity that men should have some 
external cause or agent to whom they may impute the odium 
of their own follies or misdeeds ; and as Alexander attributed 
the death of Clitus, whom he killed in a fit of passion, to the 
anger of Bacchus^', following herein the irreverent example of 
Homer s heroes, the Jews employed Satan for a similar pur- 
pose, though the wiser even of themselves were quite aware 
that in reality man has no spiritual enemy unless himself ^°. 
The reasons for representing the adversary under the serpent 
form have already been suggested. The Persian Ahiiman was 
called '' the old serpent, the liar firom the beginning, the prince 
of darkness, and the rover up and down."" The dragon was a 
well-known symbol of the waters, and of great rivers"'; and it 
was natural that by pastoral Asiatic tribes the powerful nations 
of the alluvial plains in their neighbourhood who adored the 
dragon or fish"', should themselves be symbolised under the 
form of dragons '\ and that as being traditionally or prospec- 
tively overcome by the superior'might of the Hebrew Grod, they 
should be represented as monstrous Leviathans maimed and 
destroyed by him'*. The mythical dragon apparently cor- 

^ 1 Peter ▼. 8. 

^ Q. Curtius, YiiL 2. 6. flat. Alex. 

•• SiiBch xxL 27. "» Von Colln'i Theology, i. p. 360. 

w Strabo, ix. 424. Awti, Phoeo. 46. Virg. Geoig. i. 246. Ps. civ. 26 ; 
Ixxiy. 13. 16. Neliem. ii. IS. laaiah xxvii. 1. 2 Bsdras vi. 62. Leviathan in Job 
iii. 8 ; ix. 18, is "fuym »«r«f " in the Septuagint The serpent Python is identified 
with the sea-monster in ApoUon. &hod. il 708. Dionys. Ferieg. 442. Heyne to 
ApoUodor. i. 6. 8. 

** Conf. Berosns. Richter, p. 60, &c 

** Esek. xxix. 8. 

•» Psalm Ixxiy. 14; Ixxxvii. 4; Ixxxix. 10; xci. 18. Isaiah xxvii. 1 ; li. 9. 
The collision of hostile symbols, sometimes only representing natnral contrasts or 
yicissitades, must occasionally be regarded as memorials of ancient religious riTalries^ 
as in the contest of Marsyas and Apollo, Hercules and Adonis, &c ; and there can 
be little doubt that the stories of the ensanguined Nile, and of the fish of Jonah, 


responding with the obscure name of Rahab**, whom Jehovah 
is said in Job to have transfixed and to have overcome", is the 
common antithesis to the divine or saving power'*, and may be 
compared with the Ophioneus, who in old Greek theology 
warred against Cronus, and was cast into his proper element 
the sea**. There he is installed as the Sea-god Oannes or 
Dragon, the Leviathan of the watery half of creation**, the 
dragon who vomited a flood of water after the persecuted 
woman of the Revelations**, the monster who threatened to 
devour Hesione and Andromeda, and who for a time became 
the grave of Hercules and Jonah. In the spring, the year or 
Sun-God appears as Mithras or Europa mounted on the bull; 
but in the opposite half of the Zodicu) he rides the emblem of 
the waters**, the winged horse of Nestor or Poseidon*', and 
the serpent rising heliacally at the autumnal equinox, be- 

were moulded for the purpose of diiplaying the trinmphaiit superiority of the 
Hebrew God. The symbolic meaning of water is twofold; as a beneficent agent, it 
is the "dew of Jehoyah," the refreshing fountain of Hagar, of the rock in Horeb, 
and of the jaw-bone of Samson ; the water of salvation in the Apocryphal Esther 
(ch. XL 10); the same meaning is conveyed in the story of the rescue of Zeus 
through Briarens or ^geon, and the escape of HephsBstns and Dionysas to the arms 
of Thetis. (Iliad, vi. 186; zviiL 898. 405.) On the other hand, the "floods and 
deep waters'* are emblems of destruction (2 Sam. xzii. 5. Fs. czxiv. 4. Canticles 
viii. 7. Jonah ii. 8), the lacerated fragments of Felias and of Orpheus are seethed 
in a cauldron, and the productive power of Uranus and of Osirii cast into the " un- 
fruitful" sea. (" mr^vyir^tr Hes. Th. 182. 189.) 

^ Possibly " King of the waters," as an Indogermanic, not a Semitic name. 

^ Job ix. 18 ; xxvi. 12, 18. •• Comp. Isaiah li 9. Job ii. 2. 

" Glaudian de Bapt. Froserp. iii. 848. ApoQon. Bh. i. 508. iEschyl. From. 
862, Bloom. Fherecydes, Stuns, p. 45. The *^%^»nrm avo^arnf" of the LXX. 
Job xzvi. 18. The Oannes «f ^iMf, or /jkwaftt of Syncellus, the Midgard serpent, 
which Odin sunk beneath the sea, but which grew to such a size as to encircle the 
whole earth. The heads of Leviathan or Typhon (Fs. Izziv. 14) are said to 
have been one hundred in number by Apollodorus, L 6. 8. Oomp. Origen against 
Celsus, bk. 6, p. 292. 808, Spencer. 

*9 2 Esdras vi. 62. •» xu. 15. 

•* Viig. Georg. i. 12. Schol. Find. Pyth. iv. 246. Fans. viL 21. 8. Herod, 
viii. 55. 

*^ iBschyl. From. 895. Ban, "the serpent." 


setting with poisonous influence the cold constellation of 
Sagittarius**, is explained as the reptile in the path who ''bites 
the horse B heels so that his rider falls backward." These Asiatic 
Gfjmbols of the contest of the Sun- God with the dragon of dark- 
ness and winter, were imported not only into the Zodiac, but 
into the more homely circle of European legend. Both Thor 
and Odin fight with dragons*'; Apollo is their great adver- 
sary **; the October horse sacrifice of the Campus Martius at 
Borne was contrasted with the spring symbol of the bull''; 
Achilles wars with the Scamander, and Bellerophon borne on 
the winged horse whose hoof enacts the part of Neptune's 
trident**, is victorious over the Chimaera through the favour** of 
the same emanation of divine wisdom who presided over the 
successes of Hercules. The kings of Assyria were mighty 
hunters after the fashion of the gods whom they represented '*^ 
and the exploits of the Sun-God Belus with the dragon, like 
those of his Zodiacal antithesis Ninus "', were probably em? 
blazoned upon the structures of Babylon. Even the pro- 
blematical Cappadocian prince firom whom our patron saint 
inherits his name and office, may have originally been only 
a varying form of Mithras, thus connecting the imagery of our 
sign-posts with those *' ancient days," when Jehovah himself is 

*« Lucan. yL 893, "gelido sidere." •* Y. Bohlen, OenesU, 48. 

^ Horn. Hymn Apollo. 128. Oallim. ApoUo. 100. Del. 91. ApoUod. i. 4. 1. 
Hygin. Frag. 140. Macrob. Sat. i. 17. The legend in the Apocryphal book of 
Esther, ch. zL 6^ &c, where dragons herald ''a day of darkness and obscnrity,'* 
npon which "a little fonntain" is changed into rivers of waters, and the light and 
sun shine forth, is evidently the annual vicissitude symbolised by dove and serpent ; 
a dove being probably placed at the end of the king's golden sceptre as token of 
mercy. Ch. zv. 11 ; ch. iv. 11. 

** Servius to JEn. L 485. Geoig. iv. 580. 

•• Herod. viiL 65. 

** ApoUod. ii. 8. 2. 1. Hesiod, Th. 825. The story of the insect which stung 
Fegasus, and caused the fiUl of the rider, completes the parallel with the catastrophe 
of the bull of Mithras (Schol. Find. Oly. ziii. 180) stung by Scorpia 

^ Brissonius, P. P. ch. clxv. p. 281. 

'•^ Diod. Sic. iL 8. JSlian, V. H. xii. 89. 


said to haye " cut Rahab^ and wounded the dragon." ''' The 
latter is not only the dragon of the deep waters ^^, the type of 
earthly desolation, but leader of the banded conspirators of the 
sky'®^ of the rebellious stars, which, according to Enoch, 
*' came not at the right time ;" '°* his tail drew a third part of 
the host of heaven, and cast them to the earth ^*'. The ser- 
pent legend thus became incorporated with the ancient renown 
of Jehovah, who is described as having " divided the sea by 
his strength, and broken the heads of the dragons in the 
waters." '*" When he cleft or dried up the waters of the Bed 
Sea, he at the same time bruised the head of his great adver- 
sary Bahab or Leviathan, who like the synonymous constel- 
lation encompasseth the whole world, and in a spiritual sense is 
it3 deceiver ^^'. As the '' adversary" his name is Satan; as 
'' calumniator" of Job, and of Joshua the high-priest, he is the 
"Diabolus," or Devil; he was "the old serpent," because it 
had become customary after the captivity to connect the 
Ahrimanian reptile with the temptation of Eve '^', although in 
some accounts, as in Enoch, which St. Peter and St Jude 
quote as authoritative on Daemonology, the evil spirits are the 
offspring of the sons of God with the daughters of men''^ 
and, consequently, could not have existed until the days of 
Jared"\ In Jewish eschatology, as in Persian, the dragon 

^ laaL IL 9. Creuser, Symb. L p. 848. Cappadoda, aayi Stiabo, waa a prin- 
cipal leat of the Magiaii religion. Lib. zv. p. 788. The correctneM of the derira- 
tion of the name of St. G^rge, aa luggested by Oreuzer, may be qnettioned ; may 
it not have the tame origin as the country called Georgia, Gnij, Ehartoulia, or Out- 
jiftani Bncyc Metrop^ art G^igia. Duboia, Voyage autour du Canoue, vol. il 7. 
The name of George, aa that of the river Ear, or Cyroa (Amoa ix. 7. 2 Einga 
zvi. 9), may be a corruption of the Peraian name for the aun, " Ehor," which ap- 
peara in ao many namea of peraona and pkcea in Aaia, and even Burope. Siq>r. pp. 
289, 290. 

«» Paafan xliv. 19. ^ Job xr. 16 ; ix. 18. 

«» ch. xviii. 16. »«• Bev. xil 4. 

lo* Pahn Ixxiy. 18. 

^ Bev. xil 9 ; xiil. 11. 14 ; xx. 10. Origen againat Celaua, bk. 6, c. 25. 

^ OfrSrer, Jahrhnndert dea Heila. i. 888. Oomp. Clem. Alex. Strom. 6. 2. 26. 

'»• Gen. vi. »" A. M. 1170. 

VOL. I. F F 


would in the latter days, the winter of time, enjoy a short 
period of licensed impunity, which would be a season of the 
greatest suffering to the inhabitants of the earth "*, but would 
finally be "bound,""' or destroyed in the great battle of Mes- 
siah"*, or else, as seems intimated by the coarse rabbinical 
figure of being eaten by the faithfiil"*, be, like Ahriman or 
Yasouki, ultimately absorbed and united with the principle 
of good. 

§ 11. 


The £u;count of the Fall in Genesis may be understood as an 
attempt to explain, of course only " loosely and generally," ' 
the difficulties connected with man's moral condition. The 
creation of the universe is here subordinate to the moral drama. 
The formation of man precedes that of the other animals ; he is 
gifted with a mingled nature, in part earthly, in part divine* ; 
and the breath of life which dwells in him, though now, alas! 
transitory like that of the beasts that perish ', was in its origin 
an "aura divina" essentially different firom theirs*. In the 
woman alone, formed out of his own side, and for that reason 
nearest to his affections and his heart, he recognises a suitable 
companion; and this peculiar consanguinity of the parents 
of mankind, like the analogous explanation in Plato ^, is consi- 
dered sufficient to account for that marked subordination of 
filial to conjugal love which exists in their posterity. 

Change is the inevitable condition of finite existence; and 

»> Rer. zu. 12. Ezek. zzxiz. 6. Daniel zu. 1. Matt zzir. 21. 
"> Rev. XX. 2. 

"* lb. V. 10 and xW. 14 ; xix. 20. 
<■> Fs. Ixxir. 14. 2 EBdnu vi. 52. 
' Fro£ GarbeU*8 Sermon on John iz. 2. 
' Bodes, xii. 7. Psalm civ. 29. Job xxxiy. 14 ; xxTii. 8. 
' Isai. ii. 22. Faalm xlix. 13. 21. * Eccles. ill. 21. 

* Symp. p. 191. comp. Menu 9. 42. 45. " A/ vrXtv^at rtrtt ml yviMMMf." Arte- 
midori oneirocrit. Tradition made Adam Androginous. 


everything apart from the perfect and infinite is of necessity 
imperfect and limited. But in the opinion of the Jews, man 
was originally created '^perfect/' and conditionally free from 
pain and death ^. It was also the prevailing Jewish belief, and 
the one opinion is intimately connected with the other, that all 
physical evil is a consequence and punishment of moral evil ; 
that every calamity is a result of some sin^; and it was a neces- 
sary inference that sin must he the cause of the great calamity, 
death'. In barbarous and tyrannical times a whole family is 
often involved in the vengeance taken on its chief*; hence 
arose a notion which was rashly transferred to the government 
of the Almighty ; and when it had become a settled dogma that 
punishment is hereditary, and that the fault of the parent is 
visited on the child '°, any given misfortune might be referred 
at pleasure to a cause either immediate or remote", and the 
general sin and misery of present time was ascribed to a 
supposed transgression of the first parents of mankind, thus 
satisfactorily accounting for the otherwise inexplicable " cove- 
nant," " Thou Shalt die the death." ^ 

The immediate occasion of the ''Fall" was this. God is 
beneficent and just, but does not permit men to aspire to 
rivalry with himself. The two attributes which especially 

* Wisd. ii. 23. Bccles. Tii. 29. "ta-* m^m^tf," Lactant de Orig. Error, 
ii. 12. Philo speaks ambigaonsly on this difficult point, sometimes considering his 
M9^(m9»t ^Mihtt as fim^nt vXfff m/^tv^tt ^^^ of a more refined nature than the 
fiiUen being. Oonf. Theoph. ad Antol. ii. 101, who may be supposed to hold the 
more general opinion of a conditional immortality. 
' Josh. Tii. 11. 2 Kings xrii. 7. 

* 2 Sam. zii. 13. Jer. zxxi. 30. Ezek. iii. 20, 21. Rom. t. 12. 21 ; tL 28, &c. ; 
viii. 10. 1 Cor. xv. 66. 

• 2 Sam. xii. 14. 1 Kings ziii. 84 ; jut. 10. 17. 

** Gfrorer's Urchristenthnm, 287. Joseph. Apion. i. 28. John ix. 2. Bxod. 
XX. 5 ; xxxiT. 7. Lev. xxri. 29. Nnmb. xiv. 18. 

" Josh. xxiT. 2. Isai. xliiL 27 ; Ixv. 7. Jer. xn. 12 ; xliv. 9. 

" Sirach xiy. 17. Wisd. ii. 24. Isaiah xliii. 27; liii. 6. The Jews thought 
that those who received the law from Sinai would have regained immortality if they 
had not sinned in the matter of the calf. If our finthers, said they, had not sinned, 
we should not have come into the world. See Wettstein to John x. 36. 

F F 2 


belong to him are Wisdom and Immortality"; the possessor of 
both is a God ; bat he who has neither, or only one of them, is 
a dependent being, on whom God, though he be stem and 
jealous, may look down with complacency. 

By the envious instigation of the serpent, who himself in 
idolatrous times might be said to have usurped the attributes 
and honours belonging only to God'*, the curiosity of the 
woman was excited to obtain by stealth the knowledge which 
distinguished the Elohim. The nature of this knowledge was 
the power of " distinguishing good and evil" a phrase denoting 
the first awakening of the intellect" ; it was to be gained, like 
the ordinary experience of the world, in the pursuit of the 
agreeable, without prudential regard for consequences. Enow- 
ledge was in this way too dearly purchased. In the opinion of 
the Eastern sage its acquisition was the immediate cause of sin 
and evil. Physical evil was the inevitable accompanimoit of 
moral evil ; and though man had partially succeeded in raising 
himself by disobedience to the rank of a superior being**, yet 
the curse of God and expulsion from access to the tree of life 
converted his attempt into a defeat at the moment of com- 
pletion. It is true that man in a sense was created perfect, 
and in God's image and likeness; but this perfection and like- 
ness were not understood in an elevated or spiritual meaning. 
Man did not originally possess by virtue of the diviue breath 
which lived in him any faculty by which he could appreciate 
moral distinctions ; as yet he knew not good from evil ; and the 
''likeness to God" impUes no more than that general resem- 
blance of external form usually transmitted by a father to his 
offspring*^, which Seth is afterwards described in the same 
words as inheriting from Adam", and which the divine anoes- 

'* The "0un yt^ or divme perquidtei. AachyL From. 

>« 2 Kings zTiu. 4. 

»* Dent, i 89. laai. yii. 16. Odys*. xviil 228. 

»• Gen. iii. 22. 

" Not the **fuy»f pmv,** hut only the "fivn." Pind. Nem. vi. 6. 

•■ Gen. V. 8. 


tor of the human race must be supposed to have communicated 
to all his children'*. Yet the tendency of the divine spirit, or 
breath, so long as it continued in man, was to make him 
immortal**; the consequence of sin was to convert it from 
a permanent gift into a temporary one; and, as corruption 
increased, to diminish proportionably the time of its con- 
tinuance. The expulsion of the first pair from the garden 
is inflicted for the purpose of preventing the full accomplish- 
ment of the promises of the tempter by enabling him from 
tasting ** also of the tree of life," to combine knowledge with 

The moral doctrine of the Fall implies what the author of 
Ecclesiastes drily states, that 'increase of kn owledge is 
crease of sorrow. _ That ignorance should be an essential 
condition of innocence and happiness is a superficial inference 
easily made from the frequent abuse of reason. Even philoso- 
phers, from Menander to Oandide, have pronounced man to be 
"unhappy only when he begins to reflect;" — they declare 

" 'Tis better to be mnch abused 
That but to know 't a little."— 

Thought they rashly assume to be a curse"; and animals, 
even asses and horses, are happier and more exempt from evils 
than ourselves '*. Wine intoxicates, water drowns, and nerves 
are wrung with pain ; and the really beneficent purpose is lost 
sight of in the exceptional inconvenience, as the usefulness of 
solar heat is forgotten by the fainting traveller in the desert. 
Perfect wisdom is as disproportionate to the human intellect as 
pure oxygen to the lungs; and if with the argument in Cicero 


'• Luke iii. 88. Comp. Cicero, N. D. i. 18. 

'* Gen. Ti. 8. " My spirit shall not continue, or reign, a long time in man ;" 
that is, its oontinuanoe, which had already been pronounced to be only temporary, 
was thenceforth to be limited to a specified and comparatively short period. 

» i. 18. "^ Menand. Flag. 166. 

*> Philemon. Frag. p. 42. Menand. pp. 244. 249. Kd. Grotius. 

=* N. D. iii. 27. 32. 


we take the value of the ordinary diluted compound to be 
destroyed by its qualifying ingredients, the superiority of igno- 
rance may be logically proved. The wisdom of Egypt and 
GhcJdffia were the exclusive property of a caste, and civilization 
could become progressive only where, as in Greece, the influ- 
ence of sacerdotal authority was comparatively feeble. But the 
dislike attached to the dissemination of knowledge arose not so 
much from priestly reserve as from a real misapprehension of 
its nature and bearing upon human interests. Man can never 
entirely abjure his nature as a thinking being, or seriously 
believe in the happiness of ignorance. The Jewish scriptures 
are full of panegyrics upon wisdom ; and as the paradisiacal or 
golden age possessed all the good either enjoyed or desiderated 
in the present, there must have been some sort of wisdom in 
man, even when he knew not the distinction of good and evD'*. 
The wisdom prized by the Hebrews, and considered by 
them as their peculiar distinction and privilege'^, was of the 
special and technical kind, consisting either of a devoted 
attachment to the theocracy, or of theological and scriptural 
mysticism. Whether understood in a limited or a wider sense 
as including an acquaintance with -arts and natural produc- 
tions'^, it was always, as being the gift of God, considered as 
instinctive or inspired, the prompting of the inward spirit, not 
the purposed acquisition of the intellect. It stood not in 
man's wisdom, but came direct from the great source of intel- 
ligence". It burst forth in the ecstatic accents of the Pro- 
phets^'', it awakened the organs even of the dumb ass^'^ and, 
perfected in man, the lord of the irrational yet still religiously 

'^* Rtill there remains an inconsistency between the api)arent denunciation of Wis- 
dom in ''the Fall/' and the subsequent recommendations of it Comp. 1 Kings 
iii. 9. 

«• Deut iv. 6. Wisd. iii. 9 ; iv. 16, &c. 

^ Bxod. xxxi. 3; xxxv. 81. 1 Kings iv. 33. 

'• Prov. ii. 6. Bcclcs. ii. 26. 

» Exod. iv. 12. Num. xxii. 18. Ezck. iii. 27. 

•"• 2 Peter ii. 16. 


responsive creatiou'*, it displays its power even in the inex- 
perienced mouths of babes and sucklings'*. The wisdom in 
which consisted safety and stability", as opposed to that which 
perverts and destroys"^, might be of two kinds; it might be 
either the inspired suggestion of the prophet, or the written 
treasure of the law** ; a law not only engraved on stone, but on 
the tablets of the heart**. Hence all wisdom is obedience ; 
vice and folly are synonymous"; and the virtue, which is wis- 
dom, is not so much the deliberate avoidance of evil, as either 
an instinctive preference for the good, or an obsequious ob- 
servance of the statute. The priest*', and afterwards the Pha- 
risee, punctiliously guarded the wisdom of the law ; their tradi- 
tional lore was only a refinement upon the civil or institutional 
aspect of Hebrew discipline which prided itself in a rigid 
adherence to the prescribed and hereditary forms. The other 
aspect of the cherished wisdom of the Hebrews was as the 
immediate suggestion of the Holy Spirit, overruling in later 
times the dry technicalities of law, and often clearly revealed to 
** babes " while concealed firom the arrogant pretensions of the 
" wise and prudent." Wisdom of this nature, independent of 
human effort, and spontaneously conferriBd upon child-like 
innocence and docility, might be appropriately supposed to 
have constituted the perfection of Adam in Paradise. *' God," 
says Theophilus", "wished not merely to test Adam's obe- 
dience, but to keep him for wise purposes in blissftil igno- 
rance;" for^ thejrisdom ^f mfniii ^ft^n enni't y ^^^ fi"^ i P ^ 
t he divine wisdom mipht s eem as foolishness to inenj|^. ^ Those 
who repudiated formd ism^', anrwKo sought ^e life-giving 

'» Psalm cxlviii. 8. 10. IiaL xliii. 20. 

» Pfl&lm viii. 2. 

» Prov. ix. 10; xi. 9. Isai. xxxiii. 6. Hos. iv. 6. 

^ Isai. ix. 16; xlvii. 10. 

» Eccl^. L 26 ; xxiv. 28. Barnch iii. 86. 

^ Deut XXX. 14. 

" DcQt. iy. 6. Job ii. 10 ; xxviii. 28. Psalm xiv. 1. 1 Sam. xxt. 25. 

'• Deat xxxi. 0. Halachi ii. 7. ^* Ad Autol. ii. 102. 

*« 1 Cor. iii. 19; i. 23. *' Rom. ii. 20. 


human le OTJTTiff^*! "^nlrt nnitilFnllj ^ as reformers, seel;: to r^tore 
something^ more akin to the innoce nt, s implicity of Eden. 
Convinced both of the ineflBcacy of the law of Moses, and of 
the vanity of human attainments, they would warn men to 
trust in the Lord instead of leaning on their own understand- 
ings ; to learn lessons of the lilies of the field which toil not, 
and take no thought ; to trust for inspiration for suggestion 
what to speak ; and to become " as little children." 

§ 12. 


The ideas of the Greeks respecting the nature and source of 
wisdom differed but little from those of the Hebrews ; they had 
also a notion of a fall, or estrangement from the gods, and the 
story of Prometheus was perhaps the most celebrated among 
the many' seeming to bear upon the subject. The account in 
Hesiod is probably reduced from many Promethean mythi, 
leaving us to conjecture how far their hero may have been the 
Axieros-Hephffistus of Samothrace or Athens ^ or whether at 
Sicyon he may not have been classed with Sisyphus or Atlas, 
as a personification of the Cyllenian robber god himself. He 
undoubtedly represents that older nature god, alternate in 
space and time, and with a moral character corresponding 
to his physical ambiguity, who, under the later names of 
Hermes, Hepheestus, and many subordinate correlatives, was 
aptly regarded as first founder of religion' and of the arts of 

« Ecclei. vii. 12. « Rom. vii 8; viu. 2, 8. 

♦♦ ICor. i. 17. 24; ii. 4, &c 

' Sach as those of Sisyphus, Tantalus, Athamas, Ulysses. 
* Whence probably the " to cvyy^ns,*' JEschyl. From. 89. Comp. SchoL Soph. 
(Ed. Colon. 56. 
» Piod. S. i. 16. Comp. ISschyL Prom. 437. 


life, the consort of Demeter, Pandora, or Geea*, honoured even 
before Zeus^, whom Hercules in his cosmical navigation from 
the outer ocean of Mauritania to the opposite extremity of the 
horizon ^ discovered in symbolic humiliation among the chil- 
dren of the north professing to be his descendants^, and who, 
though chained to the yoke of cosmical necessity, spurns the 
artificial servitude of his mythical successor". But Prome- 
theus, like other gods, became humanised, and his human 
attributes retained the peculiarities of his divinity, so that 
when the higher conception "Zeus" had been placed at the 
head of the Greek pantheon, he was represented as having 
stolen what in reality he had freely given, and seemed at 
enmity with a Being originally similar or identical with him- 
self'. It appears inevitable that in the progressive develop- 
ment of the mind its later and improved conception of Deity 
receding more and more widely from the original one, should 
at last become objectively severed from, and even opposed to it. 
As the character of Zeus increased in perfection, that of Pro- 
metheus would tend to assume a distinctness of a contrary 
kind. But the case would be more complicated during the 
interval in which the moral aspect of Providence, fluctuating 
with that of human morality, was but imperfectly made out, 
and though elevated in some respects remained inadequate or 
false in others. At the close of the epic period the moral 
aspect of the Being left in undisputed possession of the throne 
of heaven was by no means unimpeachable. His sternness and 
jealousy were made still more repulsive by unlimited power and 
personal selfishness. The first results of experience which con- 

* Pans. iz. 25 ; comp. t. 6. Schol. Ariatopli. Ayes. 971. Volcker, Japetus, 74. 
Apollod. i. 2, 8. BuBtath. to DioD. pp. 270. 620. Acniilai, Frag. Sinn. 224. "Rtt-' 
ter, Vorhalle, 895. 

* SchoL Piiid. OL i. 149. 

' Pexf^e, Asia, or Scjthia. Steph. Bys. art. B^mmn, Comp. Uckert, Qeogr. 
i. 2.282; ii. 2. 8; iii 2. 881. 
f Herod, v. 7. Comp. Schol. Find. 01. iii 46. Schol. ApoUoD. Bh. ii 181. 

* iBschyl. Plom. 970. * Sapr. pp. 811. 819, &c. 


stituted the ^' Fall" cast a shade upon the character of the Deity 
as on the prospects of man. Evil had been felt, and specu- 
lation awakened with alarm to investigate its cause. The 
severity of human suffering under the harsh government of the 
gods'*^ became a favourite subject of poetical complaint; and it 
would seem as if the Promethean allegory in the " Works and 
Days" of Hesiod was meant to explain the origin of the cala- 
mity as introductory to the possible alleviation of it through 
the lessons of wisdom. Many of the more winning attributes 
excluded from the epic character of the superior God still 
remained attached to subordinate personifications, who under 
such circumstances might seem to rise in justifiable revolt 
against his authority. Prometheus was the wise god, the 
frieiid of man. Man had made his god a reflection of himself, 
and the divine benefactor when exiled from the sky continued 
to sustain under a human aspect the earthly office of his 
patriarch and patron. The name of Prometheus was placed at 
the head of the genealogy of the Japhetidae, and his character, 
when finally separated from that of Zeus, seemed dramatically 
well suited to express the presumed moral attitude of his de- 
scendants towards that mysterious power whose disposition had 
become their most anxious problem. He was supposed to 
have acted in this capacity as their representative, when, in the 
olden time, the relative offices of gods and men were determined 
by mutual treaty at Mecone, or Sicyon in Peloponnesus". 
Men and gods were of kindred origin", and in those older and 
better times used to eat and live together"; at length, at the 
close, possibly, of the golden age**, a distinction was first esta- 

»• *'ay4^»»^t»t rktifu^f»t:' Horn. Hymn, Pyth. Apoll. 12 (190). Iliad, vi. 857.. 
OdysB. viii. 580. 

" Hes. Theog. 524. 585. Find. 01. vii. 100. Plato, Critias, p. 109. 

" "i/uhf yiyaa^ir Hes. Works, 107. Find. Nem. vi. 1. Homer, Hymii 
Apoll. 159. 

'^ Hes. Frag. 1 87, supposed to have once formed part of the '* Works," and to 
have been inserted at v. 120. Gomp. Arat. Fhsnom. 103. 

'* Viig. Kclog. vi. 41. Horace, Ode, i. 3. 35. 


blished between them *^ at Mecone, where mortals became sub- 
ordinate and dependent, and sacrifice was instituted as an 
acknowledgment on their part of duty and allegiance. But 
Prometheus, who represented man in this transaction, the first 
sacrificer, or '' immolator of the Bull/' ^' defirauded Zeus and 
the gods by putting them off with the bones and fat of the 
victim. In other words, sacrifice, one of the arts ascribed 
to Prometheus ^^, was so contrived, under his management, as to 
appear Uke a deception practised on the gods'"; man, though 
theoretically their comrade and messmate, appears in practice 
to engross the whole of nature's abundance, and the sacrifices 
of the Greeks which were not Holocausts, but often consisted 
of the more insignificant and otherwise useless parts of the 
animal", would seem to be an equally unfair apportionment. 
" Henceforth," says Hesiod, citing a well-known fact in cor- 
roboration of its assumed origin, " the children of men to this 
day bum the white bones on the sacrificial altars."** No 
notice is here taken of that recondite Pantheism which con- 
templated in sacrifice the abandonment of the soul to God, 
typified by the spilling of the blood which was the life'' ; since 
life is the proper tribute and perquisite of Ufe's Author, and the 
Magi, after this essential oblation, scrupled not to divide the 
whole of the remaining flesh to be eaten by the worshippers'*'. 
The common Greek was unfamiliar with such ideas^ and with 

'* "imftfnr:" Schol. Find. NenL ix. 123. ''t^* h m ftn ^ii}«r«»T« Tm$ rtfui$r 
Comp. Hes. Theog. v. 111. 882. Jiachyl. Prom. Bothe. 426. Schol. Theog.v. 535. 

>• Pliny, N. H. vu. 57, ad fin. 

■^ ^Mhyl Pr. Bloml 502. Pliny, ubi rap. Comp. Diod. S. ▼. 75. Hymn, 
Here T. 115. 

'* Similar to the trick by which Numa laid the foundation of sacrificial Bubstitu- 
tion. Amob. adv. Gent. v. 1. Ovid, Fast iii. 82. Plutarch, vit. Numa. Paus. 
ii. 11. 7. 

'• Weiske's Prom. p. 245. Vose, Briefe, vol. ii. p. 356. Lennep to Hesiod, Th. 
556. Nitzsch to Odyss. vol. i. p. 223. ^schyl. From. 483, Bothe. 

" Theog. 567. Clem. Alex. Strom, vii. p. 847, Potter. 

'' Levit. xvii. 11. Virg. ^n. ix. 349. "Nulla expiatio nisi per sanguinem," 
says the Talmud. Tract. Joma. fol. 5*. Heb. ix. 22. 

« Stnibo, XV. 732. 



the connected docirine of sacramental communion. He looked 
on sacrifice as a sacred banquet, at which the gods, if pro- 
pitious, were still, as in the olden time, personally present '', 
and an unequal division of the animal was therefore an im- 
position to which they must have unwillingly submitted. It 
was for this reason, says Hesiod, that Zeus withheld fire from 
mortals ; then Prometheus stole some in a hollow reed (whose 
dry pith is said to be still used as tinder in the Levant),*^ to 
the great mortification of Zeus, who was chafed and galled with 
bitter resentment ; 

" 3«Mitv Vm^ fU^t 4vfkm 

Man in turn was deceived by a stratagem of Zeus, who created 
woman to be his plague and bane; and Prometheus himself 
was chained to a rock where an eagle devoured his liver. 

The story of Mecone has been conjectured to imply the 
introduction of the Olympian gods into Peloponnesus **, Pro- 
metheus representing both the cunning of the more ancient 
deity and the corresponding character of the people. The life 
of the savage, in its intervals of activity, seems as a series 
of stratagems practised on nature or his fellows ; in his desul- 
tory efforts he betrays no consciousness of external uniform 
law or of action regulated by conforming principle. £ach 
expedient is a theft or advantage wrung by systematic selfish- 
ness from a grudging taskmaster, or if before the hypothetic 
'' Fall" he learned the useful arts from his patron deity, Aris- 
tffius, Dionysus, or Prometheus, the friendly genius associated 
with his age of innocence sinks into inferiority when compared 
with the mysterious Mahadeva of deeper reflection, the per- 

^ ** Bat enim hoc aolenne nt DU sacris suu iuteniut et in iis epalari dicantur, 
unde ad socrificia et aacra 'proficisci' solent — quo pertiuent etiam Lectisternia Ro- 
manorum." Heyne to Iliad, i. 424. 525. Odyss. yii. 203. Pind. 01. riii. 68. 
Gkn. viii. 21. See Lucian s Prometheus, Aristophzines in the *' BirdB,** &c. 

2« WeUke's Prom. p. 211. ^achyl. Proin. 109, Bothe. Pliny, N. H. xiii. 23. 
Welckcr, Trilogie, 8. 

^ Gottling to Hedod, Thcog. 535. 


Bonification of resistless and immoral, because unintelligible 
power. The conception of divine wisdom is formed according 
to the actual standard of human wisdom ; where the one is mis- 
conceived, the other is misdirected. Experience must precede 
science, and the first arts are therefore necessarily empirical ; 
but since empirical art resembles a trick more than a rightftil 
acquisition, the wisdom of the early Deity bore the semblance 
of cunning or deceit^, and as men were supposed to have cri- 
minally purloined the divine attribute by eating the forbidden 
fruit> so Prometheus by stealing fire to benefit mankind, com- 
mitted an outrage upon heaven. The discovery of fire being 
the condition of that of the arts, this theft became enlarged 
by explanation into the general communication of know- 
ledge*'; and it was but varying the expression of the same 
idea to say with the historian Duris^, that the offence con- 
sisted in making overtures to the goddess Athene, understood 
as an emanation of the divine Metis *', though the foundation 
of the legend had probably been laid in that ancient cosmo- 
gonic intermarriage of Athene with celestial fire from which 
sprang the Ionian Apollo *^ and the commemorative Attic torch 
race. Tantalus, too, once the favourite of heaven, had offended 
by purloining, not indeed the fire of the gods, but their secrets, 
or their nectar and ambrosia", and giving them to mortals. 
The original aspect of his legend may perhaps be more clearly 
seen in that version of it which made his crime similar to that 
of Cronus and Typhon, the destruction of his own beautiful 
offspring, the beauty of nature s life, offered by him as food on 
the table of the gods, but of which the only part actually con- 

^ Gomp. Herod, il 121. 172; iii 4. Soph. Philoct 1222. Hence probably 
the Telcbines are "^o^jmim/' aod "^tnfu," 

^ Oomp. Plato, Protag. 821^ Pbileb. 142. Theopbiastus and Cicero in Schol. 
Apollon. Rh. ii. 1248. Cic. Tiuc. v. 8. Servius to ^neid, vi. 42. 

^ Schol. Apollon. u. s. ^ Hes. Theog. 886. 

*^ Cic. N. D. iii. 22. Proclus ad Timse. p. 80. Wyttenbach to Plutarch, Isis 
and Osirit, p. 458. SchoL (Edip. Colon. 55. Hemsterhuis* Lncian, L 197. 

" Pind. OL i. 97. 


sumed was the prolific shoulder **, which Ceres every year may 
be said to devour and to renew; or that which attributed to 
him the rape elsewhere said to have been perpetrated by his 
father, the disappearance of the beautifiil boy, for which he was 
sentenced to bear the punishment of the stone, or the superin- 
cumbent world **. Tantalus, husband of Clytemnestra, son of 
Thyestes, Bronteus, or Pluto**, is an Agamemnon or Zeus 
inferus*^, and the stone suspended over his head is not the 
solar rock apparently hinted by Euripides'*, the dread of Goths 
and Thracians ", but rather the penalty of Perithous, the stone 
of Ascalaphus or Niobe, that which killed Idas, and stunned 
Hercules **, the desolated earth, or the stony influence of win- 
ter. He may be an emblem of the sun, to whom horses were 
sacrificed on the Taletum in Taygetus *• ; he was chained to 
Sipylus, a name significant of Hades **, for concealing as Sol 
inferos the golden dog of the zodiac, which Pandareus*' had 
stolen out of a Cretan temple**; or he may represent the 
brazen giant Talus, the sun s heat in its injurious excess, 
scorching the hapless stranger**, which in Tartarus may be 
supposed to banish the "lymphae fiigaces" from his own lips. 
Prometheus, too, is Nature moralised; he is the luminary 
typical both of divine beneficence and mental illumination ** ; 

^ A part which, for mystic reasons, was considered sacred. Dionysus himself 
sprang from the thigh of Zens. The Scythians threw the right shoulder of the vic- 
tim to the gods (Herod, iv. 62 ; comp. Hansen, Ost Bnropa nach Herodot 252) ; the 
bull Apis was wounded in the same member; so, too, was Minerva, and the earth in 
consequence became barren. (Pans. viii. 28.) 

» Schol. Eur. Orest. 972. »« Pans. ii. 22. 

'* Comp. Vossius de Idolatrii, p. 60. 

* Strabo, viL 302. " Eurip. Orest v. s. 

* Pans. ix. 11. * Pans. iii. 20. 
*^ "wXat Ai)««;" hence Pluto is called Uvka^mt, 

41 Hermes-OynocephaluB, who also, as representing that nniversa] spy, the sun, 
denounces the theft. Hymn to Ceres, t. 62. 

*« Pans. X. 80. Schol. Odyss. T, 618; % 66. Crena. S. iii. 824. 
" Creuz. S. i. 88. Apollon. Rh. iv. 1662. Virg. Mn. iii. 140. 
** Pind. Oann. in Defect Solis, 6. 



Stealing from Hephsestus or from Zeus, in his human charac- 
ter, the ray which he freely dispenses in his divine, and in 
his wintry banishment suffering the penalty of human vicis- 
situde, while the devouring of his liver, supposed to mean the 
corroding cares of life **, was, in its original intention, like the 
enfeeblement of Hercules, or the mutilation of Zeus, a symbol 
of the decay of vegetation in the season of the sun's decline **. 
It is then that the god consummates his robbery and his sacri- 
fice ; he steals our goods and lives, the herds of the sun and 
the quiver of Apollo, the face of heaven is mocked with the 
bare skeleton of Nature*^, while her treasures and her beauty 
are hidden in the grave. 

§ 13. 


The Prometheus of ^schylus unites in one person the four 
beings mythically connected as brothers, but who here are in 
fact only the several moral aspects of the mind; Atlas re- 
presenting endurance ' ; Mencetius, impatient presumption 
(5i3ftf, which brings down aTti, or onog, destruction') ; Epime- 

*^ Schol. Hes. Theog. 523. Weiske's Prom. 290. The livef was thought to be 
the seat of passion and anxiety (Aristot Probl. 80 ; Horace, passim) ; the yultures 
of Tityos, like the eagle of Prometheus, are therefore the anger and curse of 
humanity. (Lucret. iii. 997.) Pherecydes mentions the ingenious addition that the 
doily waste of the liver was restored during the night, that is, by rest in sleep, or 
during the repose of winter. 

^ The incident was sometimes supposed to happen every third day (Cic. Tusc. 
ii. 9), t. «. on the last of the three seasons of the ancient year. 

" Gomp. the story about the bones of Orpheus, which when beheld by the sun 
were the signal of the devastation of the state of Libethra by a wild boar. Paus. 
ix. 80. 5 ; and Infr. vol. 2. 

' Prometheus, like Atlas, is inventor of shipping (^schyl. 181. 476) ; and hus- 
band of Hesione. (lb. 542. Schol. Eur. Phcenias. 1136.) 

^ Thus Prometheus is finally hurled to Tartnms. 


theus, or afterthought, the verbal antithesis to " forethought/' ' 
the personified ignorance and folly of uncivilised man, at once 
the slave and dupe of heaven, a being agitated by perpetual 
fear, and apparently the most destitute and unprotected of the 
animal creation^. This condition, which the Hesiodic poet 
would represent as following the golden age, and as an in- 
fliction of divine anger % is assumed in^schyhis as original ; 
''men had eyes, but they saw not; ears had they, but they 
heard not; like dreams they passed long years in a life of wild 
disorder; they knew no art of construction either in brick or 
wood, but lived under ground, like the tiny ant, in sunless 
oavems/'* Man seemed as if devoted to destruction by the 
circumstances of his position ; and the Deity is said to have 
actually willed the annihilation^ of the whole race, and the 
replacing it by another '. By rescuing men from this dis- 
astrous state, Prometheus became in a double sense their 
parent, and as it were, creator'; he effected their rescue by 
giving them the resources of the "wisdom" of an early age, 
especially that most cherished possession of the gods*^ fire, the 
" help of helps," the teacher of all art« 

9rm^n§ fi^ut vnfvtu m»i f**y$ «'•(««/' 

' Hence Prometheiu U Pandora's hoBband, and ia liable